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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

From the Wires


“Mad Dog” Mattis: Trump’s Least Belligerent Foreign Policy Advisor?

General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of defense, is known first and foremost as an Iran hawk.


Top Trump Adviser Has Shifting Views on Russia, Eurasia

Donald Trump’s national security adviser has expressed contradictory opinions about the former Soviet Union, making it difficult to assess what policies the next White House administration may pursue in the region.


Donald Trump and the Swamp of War

Trump: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job.”


Trump Appointee Claimed China Might Cancel July 4

Trump’s deputy national security advisor Kathleen McFarland has a history of making wildly conspiratorial claims about China leveraging its holdings of U.S. debt to demand the elimination of Fourth of July celebrations and casually joking about nuclear winter as a solution to global warming.


Obama, Trump, and the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy

Thus far, signs indicate that Donald Trump will continue to ensure that the United States plays the dominant role in policing the world.


Trump and the Iran Deal: A view from Israel

The Iran deal is beneficial to Israeli security. Without an Iranian nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have no incentive to obtain nuclear weapons, thus preventing a domino scenario. The deal also closed off the chapter of pre-emption strikes scenarios on Iran’s military targets and reduced the risks for a new and long regional war. All of this could be threatened by the Trump administration.


Ideology Is Supplanting Intelligence

People are attaining positions of power under Trump not because of perspicacity and temperament but because they were not sufficiently outraged during the campaign to exile themselves from Trumpland.


Cozy Overlap Between Flynn’s Drone Company and Trump’s Border Plans

Little attention has been paid to the roll of Trump’s national security adviser in a small drone company that has received Pentagon contracts after he joined the company in April, while he was simultaneously serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign. If Trump follows through on his campaign promise to deploy more surveillance drones on the Canadian and Mexican borders, the company would be well-placed to win even bigger contracts.


Trump’s Real Basket of Deplorables

As Donald Trump’s national security team begins to take shape, it’s becoming clear that Trump indeed has a “basket of deplorables” around him. And many of them are going to wind up serving in his administration.


Trump and the Middle East: A Primer

Because of his seeming lack of knowledge about the region and disinterest in the complex factors that underpin its endemic violence, the incoming president should take a measured look at the Middle East and the long-term U.S. engagement with it.


Anti-Boeing Bill Offers Early Iran Test for Trump

Will a President Trump put U.S. business first and expand the U.S. manufacturing workforce as part of his plan to make America great again? Or will he hold to the reflexive anti-Iran positions of the Republican Congressional majority, Sheldon Adelson, and the neoconservatives, including the NeverTrumpers who, with Democrats marginalized across the board, are already seeking ways to gain influence with whomever the president-elect chooses to advise him?


Sheldon Adelson Owns a Share in Trump’s Rise

Sheldon Adelson ignored the concerns of fellow members of the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Anti-Defamation League, and the vast majority of Jewish voters to help elect a president who reflected his hawkish views on America’s role in the Middle East.


Trump Election Already Bad News for Palestinians

Reacting to Donald Trump’s election victory, one Israeli official said that it represented “an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the centre of the country. … This is the position of the president-elect. …The era of a Palestinian state is over.”


Iran Deal Is Key Test of Trump’s Commitment to NATO Allies

Although Republican opponents of the Iran nuclear deal frequently suggest unilaterally reneging on the agreement, they have never been faced with the real likelihood of a president who might go along with the proposal or, possibly, even take the lead in such an action. Now they are. And the consequences could be severely damaging to U.S. interests.


The Five Most Common Middle East Conspiracy Theories

Donald Trump’s absurd claim that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama “founded” ISIS is not the only conspiracy theory about he Middle East that is rampant in U.S. popular discourse.


Unpacking some Untruths about Iran

A recent Congressional Research Service report on Iran is misleading in two important respects—concerning Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its possession of a capability to produce chemical warfare agents.


Clinton’s Foreign Policy: The Known Unknowns

Regardless of Hillary Clinton’s national security predilections, a future Clinton administration will rapidly discover that U.S. foreign policy options are in fact quite limited. The default course is thus likely to be “more of the same” of the Obama administration’s policies and approaches.


Is CAP Shilling for the UAE?

The Foreign Ministry of the United Arab Emirates may have helped draft the latest Middle East report by the “liberal” Center for American Progress.


Gorbachev Appeals for Sanity, Dialogue

President Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union and recipient of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, has appealed to world leaders to reduce the dangerous tensions that threaten to plunge world into war.


Think Tanks Beg: Give Us War

Hillary Clinton’s impassioned defense of a no-fly zone in Syria last Wednesday may not have won her many friends in certain wings of the Democratic Party, but it spoke to at least one group: America’s foreign policy elite.


For the Middle East, It’s the Center for American Regress

If one is looking for new thinking about improving U.S.-Iran relations, they are not going to find it at the Center for American Progress (CAP) if its latest report on Middle East policy is any indication.


The Election That Killed Foreign Policy

The U.S. presidential election campaign has done more to set back U.S. foreign relations and the cause of good foreign policy than has any other election within memory.


Report: Take More Risk to Find Common Ground with Iran

Whoever moves into the White House next January should be willing to “take more risk to find some common ground with Iran,” according to a new report released by the non-partisan Atlantic Council.


Adelson’s Newspapers on Trump: Everything is Fine

As the GOP establishment scrambles for the lifeboats in the wake of Donald Trump’s disastrous campaign, Trump’s biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, is moving full-steam ahead, writing big checks and mobilizing newspapers owned by his family to support Trump, even as the candidate careens toward a massive defeat.


The Middle East and the Next Administration

Osama bin Laden surely died happy. He devoted the last third of his life to creating animosity between the West and Islam and to driving a wedge between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Today, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey are all estranged from the United States. And, as an unexpected bonus, so is Israel.


Saudi Charm Offensive in Europe

Saudi Arabia has launched a charm offensive following the historic vote by the European Parliament demanding an arms embargo on Riyadh.


Trump’s Apocalypse Is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The world according to Trump: The American economy has tanked. Mexico has sent a horde of criminals over the border to steal jobs and rape women. The Islamic State, cofounded by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is taking over the globe. “We haven’t seen anything like this, the carnage all over the world,” he has declared.


Life Goes On, Barely, After 50 Years of Occupation

During five decades of Israeli occupation, the number of Palestinian refugees has grown with every generation, saturating basic services in the 19 camps that are home to about 200,000 people in the West Bank run by the United Nations.


Campaign Carnage and the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Among the lingering effects of this awful election campaign season will be widespread misunderstanding of serious issues of foreign policy, beyond even the habitually low baseline public understanding of many such issues.


Israel: Strong Words Must Be Followed by Strong Action

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has been playing the Obama administration for almost eight years, repeatedly sticking his finger in their eye and getting away with it. In fact, it is a running joke that Netanyahu, either before or after high level US visits, defiantly announces new settlement plans, boasting that he knows how to control America.


What Tim Kaine Actually Got Wrong About the Iran Nuclear Deal During the Veep Debate

Hillary Clinton didn’t help to eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program because the nuclear negotiations weren’t about eliminating Iran’s nuclear weapons program because Iran didn’t have a nuclear weapons program at that time to eliminate. Kaine, therefore, did exaggerate Clinton’s role: he credited her with participating in talks that didn’t actually do what he said they did.


What is the Tikvah Fund?

The Tikvah Fund, a foundation that works closely with neoconservative think tanks and media outlets, seeks to influence both academic discourse and the media on issues impacting economics, politics, culture, and religion, with a particular emphasis on the role of Judaism in society.


Did AIPAC Pocket Its Iran Deal Fundraising Revenue?

From all outward appearances, AIPAC’s fundraising arm effectively pocketed the boost in fundraising revenue it enjoyed during the heated battle over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.


Netanyahu at the UN: Frozen Bodies, Blatant Lies, and Imaginary Children

The Israeli prime minister’s tells imaginary tales at the UN about meetings with Palestinians.


Our Hardliners Are Still Helping Iran’s Hardliners

The unrelenting urge among American politicians to keep punishing Iran continues to work against sensible statecraft and U.S. interests.


Israel Gives Up Little to Get Largest Ever U.S. Arms Deal

The new U.S. aid deal for Israel is the largest military aid package to any country in the history of U.S. security assistance, providing Israel $38 billion over ten years starting in 2019.


Mark Kirk Wanted Release of Americans Held in Iran Before He Was Against It

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), a hardline Iran hawk who consistently opposes diplomatic efforts to constrain Iran’s nuclear program, had a change of heart when it came to seeking the release of Americans held in Iran.


Washington’s 15-Year Air War

Within days of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration announced a “war on terror,” which included launching an air war in numerous hotspots across the globe. Almost 15 years have passed and that air war is still ongoing.


Exceptionalism and the Limited Scope of Indispensability

In a recent speech Hillary Clinton made American exceptionalism a major theme. She chose that theme in part because it would enable her to criticize Donald Trump, who has said he doesn’t like the term.


The Americans Should Have Their Own Chilcot

The United States needs to undertake the same type of investigation that condemned former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision-making during the lead up to the Iraq War.


Why Victory Over IS Won’t Solve the Real Problem Facing Iraq and Syria

A recent spate of high-casualty Islamic State-linked attacks has raised fears about the group’s ability to carry out international terrorist strikes while also obscuring its failures at creating a “state.”


Hillary the Hawk

Is Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness on foreign policy due to core principles or political calculation?


Obama: The Conflict Resolution President?

In minimizing U.S. resort to violence, President Obama has brought conflict resolution to the Oval Office.


How Sanctions Can Reduce U.S. Leverage: The Case of Iran

Whatever influence the United States seeks from sanctions depends on demonstrating that those targeted will get relief if they take the required actions, otherwise there is no incentive for change.


Waste in the U.S. Military

From spending $150 million on private villas for a handful of personnel in Afghanistan to blowing $2.7 billion on an air surveillance balloon that doesn’t work, the latest revelations of waste at the Pentagon are just the most recent howlers in a long line of similar stories stretching back at least five decades.


The End of the American Empire

We need a peaceful international environment to rebuild our country. To achieve this, we must erase our strategy deficit. To do that, the next administration must fix the broken policymaking apparatus in Washington.


The Wrong Messengers for Erdogan

A recent “open-letter” to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and signed by a diverse group of U.S. foreign policy figures highlights neoconservative efforts to gain respectability within the foreign-policy establishment by persuading prominent experts to sign on to letters they circulate around Washington on specific issues of concern to them.


Iranians Losing Confidence in U.S. Compliance with JCPOA

Polls Indicate that Iranian public is losing confidence that the United States will abide by the terms of the landmark nuclear deal.


Donald Trump: Foreign Policy’s Useful Idiot?

It might take someone of Trump’s vapid visibility to drive home the point that “world’s policeman” is not a viable role for the U.S. to play.


New Nuclear Hysteria in the Middle East

This is not the first time that the risk that Gulf countries may acquire nuclear arms has been raised. Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi ambassador to the United States, warned two years ago that nuclear threats from Israel and Iran might force Saudi Arabia to follow suit.


New Nukes in the Middle Eest?

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon claimed at the recent Munich Security Conference that Persian Gulf states are seeking nuclear weapons to counter “bad guy” Iran and have held clandestine meetings with Israel.


The Arrogance that Slays

It is still unclear if 2016 will be the year in which American voters end the influence of neoconservatives on decision-making.


Trump: The American Ahmadinejad?

Donald Trump evokes a similar kind of populism as former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Reading Tea Leaves in the Adelson Primary

Billionaire Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson’s media properties have come out strongly in support of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).


Presidential Politics and the Lessons Learned from Middle East Dictatorships

Middle East instability is in large part due to past dictators centralizing the state around themselves and a small cadre of elites.


We Need More From Our Candidates on the Middle East

More should be demanded of the 2016 presidential candidates than mindless bluster or vacuous pronouncements on the Middle East.


Clinton Campaign Recycles Hawkish Foreign Policy Positions

Similar to her 2008 attacks against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton is now criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) for his advocacy of diplomacy with Iran.


Neocons Echo Kirkpatrick, Defend Saudi Arabia

Neoconservative columnists like the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens continue to use the same discredited arguments to defend U.S. support for the staunchly authoritarian Saudi regime.


Neocons Double their Standards on Prisoner Release

Rightwing foreign policy hawks have applied a double standard in their comments on the prisoner exchange between Iran and the United States.


In Celebration of the Nuclear Agreement with Iran

The Iran nuclear deal was not a “triumph” for the sanctions policy against Iran, but rather was due to pragmatic Iranian elites viewing it as in their country’s interest.


Everything the Neocons Said about Sailorgate Is Wrong

The claims made by prominent neoconservatives about Iran’s detainment of 10 American sailors in its territorial waters have all been certifiably false.


Should Moguls Subsidize US Military Aid to their Favorite Nations?

Hardline “pro-Israel” outlets have reacted with typical anti-Obama fervor to reports that President Obama rejected an offer by Sheldon Adelson to fund “Iron Dome” batteries in Israel.


NORPAC Helps House Hawk Attack Iran Deal

The biggest donor to anti-Iran deal Rep. Ed Royce’s (R-CA) 2014 campaign committee was NORPAC, a political action committee aligned with AIPAC.


Washington’s Multi-Million-Dollar Saudi PR Machine

Saudi Arabia spends millions of dollars a year on lobbyists and PR firms to improve its image in Washington.


Neocons Defend Saudi Arabia

Neocon pundits have lined up in support of the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Saudi Arabia in the wake of that country’s controversial execution of a prominent Shiite leader.


… And All of a Sudden Syria!

The recent UN resolution endorsing a “road map” for a peace process in Syria raises too many unanswered questions.


The Origin of the New Species of Drone Operator

There is still a stunning lack of oversight and accountability over private military contractors, who the U.S. military has even begun relying on to operate drones.


Endless War, Undeclared and Undebated

Congress can do little to limit the Obama administration’s decision to scale up U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.


The Jewish Communal Fund Invests in Islamophobia

The Jewish Communal Fund, which claims to direct donor funds to purposes that serve the “interests of the Jewish community,” funds some of the most high-profile Islamophobes.


The Military Impulse and Hysteria Over ISIS

While ISIS is a significant security problem in the Middle East, it is a problem distinct from countering terrorist threats in the United States.


Poll: Evangelical Republicans are Bibi’s Biggest American Fans

A new poll has revealed that evangelical Christian Republicans are significantly more supportive of Israel and Israeli influence in U.S. politics than non-evangelical Republicans.


Marco Rubio Is Winning the Neocon Primary

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is quietly racking up the support of right-wing mega-donors and Bush-era neocons.


Iran’s Nuclear Aberration

Headlines about a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report on alleged past nuclear weapons work by Iran have been needlessly alarming.


The Abrams Attack on Kerry

Elliot Abrams has wildly argued in a recent column that Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments in reaction to the Paris attacks were tacitly anti-Semitic.


Christie Pivots to Islamophobia and toward Adelson

GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie has sought to latch onto anti-Muslim sentiment in an apparent effort to win the support of mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.


Islamophobia Surges on the Right

Much of the Islamophobia running through the right now originated from hardline “pro-Israel” circles.


Convicted Liar Lies About Obama’s “Shameful” Refugee Policy

Elliott Abrams, convicted for lying before Congress during the Reagan years, has willfully misinterpreted President Obama’s recent comments on refugees in order to repeat the far-right cliché that the president is anti-Christian.


Let’s Not Forget Beirut

The large quantitative and qualitative disparity in the media’s coverage of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut cannot be justified.


The Mindless Militarism of Max Boot

In the wake of the Paris attacks, prominent neoconservative Max Boot has breathlessly called for the United States to unilaterally support Sunni autonomy in Iraq and deploy 20,000 U.S. troops against ISIS.


Netanyahu’s Perfidious Performance at CAP

The claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his presentation at the Center for American Progress have been thoroughly debunked.


Bibi, the Failed Peace Process, and the Future of Linkage

Just days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with President Obama in the Oval Office, Israel approved new settlements in West Bank, a move that directly runs counter to U.S. national security interests.


CAP and Netanyahu

The Democratic Party-aligned Center for American Progress has controversially hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his stay in Washington.


Bibi Comes Calling:  What President Obama Needs to Say

US diplomacy regarding the Middle East, whether with Israel or other allies, should make clear that America’s regional partnerships must become a genuine two-way street.


Chalabi, Greatest Con Man of His Generation, Dead at 71

Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi con man who played a decisive role in manipulating the United States into the Iraq War, has died at age 71.


Hillary Clinton Hasn’t Learned a Thing from Iraq

When it comes to war and peace, it might not matter too much if a Republican or Hillary Clinton wins the White House.


Rubio Anointed Neocon Choice

Hardline “pro-Israel” billionaire Paul Singer’s endorsement of Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) presidential campaign has made Rubio the neoconservative candidate of choice.


Neocons Launch 2016 Manifesto

An organization advising many of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates and dominated by neoconservative ideologues has published a comprehensive outline of what it believes a Republican foreign policy should look like as of Inauguration Day 2017.


U.N. Rights Commissioner Blasts Harsh Treatment of Refugees

As the flow of refugees into Europe continues to rise, migrants have found themselves facing increasingly hostile and degrading conditions in the countries they have fled to.


Dennis Ross: Blame America First!

In his new book, “pro-Israel” ideologue and former Obama administration official Dennis Ross suggests that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bears little or no responsibility for Israel’s rocky relationship with the United States.


The Disappearing Prince of Darkness

Prominent neoconservative Richard Perle has notably been missing from the Iran deal debate, with some inside sources saying he has fallen out of favor with senior staff at the American Enterprise Institute.


Lessons from America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East

The reliance of the United States on ineffective policies centered on military intervention and sanctions in the Middle East has destabilized the region and spurred the need for new U.S. strategic partnerships.


The Right-Wing Americans Who Made a Doc About Argentina

The makers of a new anti-Argentine government documentary on the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman have ties to notorious holders of Argentina’s debt.


Politics versus Policy: Follow-up to the Iran Nuclear Agreement

The lesson of the “pro-Israel” lobby’s attempted scuttling of the Iran deal is that it is necessary to construct a policy toward Israel that would not reward it for this type of behavior towards the United States.


Silent Arrogance: Netanyahu at the UN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hostile speech before the UN General Assembly will only increase Israel’s isolation on the world stage.


AIPAC Spent $14.5 Million on TV Ads during Iran Deal Debate

AIPAC spent at least $14.5 million on TV ads from mid-July to mid-September in its failed attempt to convince members of Congress to derail the Iran nuclear deal.


The Value of Reading Propaganda

The real danger of propaganda, whether in the United States or elsewhere, comes when you start believing your own spin.


The Middle East’s New Nakba

On-going crises in the Middle East, ranging from the Israel-Palestinian conflict to the war in Syria and Iraq, are resulting in the remapping of the entire region.


Iran’s nuclear deal and the regional countries

Now that overwhelming majority of countries in the Middle East have come out in support of the Iran deal, it is necessary for these countries to cooperate more broadly to resolve regional issues.


AIPAC’s Democrat Problems Go Beyond Obama

AIPAC found itself in a tough spot over the Iran deal not only because of donor pressure, but also because of the maximalist positions taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Iran negotiations.


The Star Trek Fallacy

America’s inexhaustible capacity for interfering in far-flung places may not be a sign of a dynamic civilization, but of a fatal flaw.


The Rubicons That Have Been Crossed

In their attempts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program over the years, the United States and Israel utilized illegal methods at times, including assassinations and cyber warfare.


Partisan Gaps on Military Use, Immigration, Climate

A recent survey indicates that the gap between Democrats and Republicans on U.S. international engagement and military use is as wide as it has been at any time in the recent past.


Next Hurdle for Iran Deal: AIPAC’s Plan B (Endorsed by Post)

Having lost the Iran deal vote, AIPAC and hawkish outlets like the Washington Post are moving to support other measures aimed at preventing broader cooperation between the United States and Iran.


The Jewish Community and the Iran Deal

Jewish support in Congress for the Iran nuclear deal shows once again that that there is no Jewish monolith that automatically supports Israeli government policies come what may.


Does Sheldon Adelson Hold the GOP Captive?

The fact that only a handful of prominent Republicans have spoken out in support of the Iran deal is possibly a sign of the enormous influence of Sheldon Adelson on the GOP.


Why We Went to War Against Iraq: Re-Writing History Again

The claim by some Republican figures, including Colin Powell, that responsibility for the Iraq War lies with the intelligence community does not stand up to scrutiny.


Lindsey Graham Blames Iran For 9/11 Attacks

During a recent speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared to blame the 9/11 attacks on Iran in a seemingly desperate ploy to attract donors like Sheldon Adelson.


Is This How It Ends?

A scuffle between a protestor and a prominent neoconservative executive during Dick Cheney’s recent Iran talk at the American Enterprise Institute is symbolic of the decline of the neoconservative ideology.


Why Manchin Opposed The Iran Deal After He Was For It

Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) surprise opposition to the Iran deal may due to the enormous pressure he has received from “pro-Israel” groups.


Cardin, the Iran Deal, and the Future of Plan B

With AIPAC failing to win a veto-proof majority of Senators to oppose the Iran deal, the lobby has shifted its approach to promoting proposals that would undermine the deal’s implementation.


Game Over? With Sen Casey, Pro-Deal Forces Win Over Key Iran Deal Vote

With Sen. Bob Casey, a close ally of AIPAC, coming out in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement, it is now a virtual certainty that President Obama will have enough votes to sustain a veto against any resolution to reject the deal.


Committee for the Liberation of Iraq Members on Iran Deal

Many prominent opponents of the Iran nuclear deal were board members of the infamous Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a group established by the Bush White House in 2002 to mobilize support for invading Iraq.


Russian Anxieties about the Iranian Nuclear Accord

Russian critics of the Iran nuclear deal believe the agreement will strengthen the United States as a global power at the expense of Russia.


Noam Chomsky on the Iran Deal

Famed linguist Noam Chomsky dismantles the claim that Iran is the gravest threat to world peace.


US Provides Cover for Use of Banned Weapons in Yemen

The United States has virtually legitimized the use of banned cluster bombs by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.


Bush-Era Torture Apologists Are Releasing a Book to Whitewash Their Crimes

Bush-era CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and several of their underlings have announced plans to release a book justifying torture.


Seventy-Plus Nuclear Non-Proliferation Experts Endorse Deal

It appears that a consensus has emerged among vast majority of nuclear non-proliferation experts in support of the nuclear deal with Iran.


UANI, Samore Go Their Separate Ways

The stridently anti-deal United Against Nuclear Iran and its president Gary Samore have parted ways after Samore came out in favor of the Iranian nuclear deal.


Obama the Anti-Semite?

Critics of the Iran nuclear deal seek to inoculate themselves from pushback by leveling claims of anti-Semitism at President Obama and others who have noted the warmongering agenda of many of the right-wing “pro-Israel” groups.


How the Iran Deal Could Reshape the Middle East

The Iranian nuclear deal could lead to a broader rapprochement between the United States and Iran, resulting in a more stable Middle East.


John Bolton’s Reverence for the United Nations

John Bolton, the neoconservative former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has ironically criticized a provision of the Iran deal that recognizes U.S. veto power within the U.N. Security Council.


Iran Nuclear Deal Could Boost Diplomacy with North Korea, Diplomat Says

A senior South Korean diplomat argues that the Iran nuclear deal will likely have a “positive impact” on North Korea.


Can America Make New Friends But Keep the Old in the Middle East?

The real fear that Israel and most Gulf states have about the Iran nuclear deal is that it may lead to broader Iranian-American rapprochement.


Shaking Up Alignments in the Middle East

Recent moves by Turkey and Saudi Arabia have the potential to shake up regional alignments in the Middle East.


Huckabee’s Holocaust Remark Defended by Adelson-Funded ZOA

GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee’s recent remarks comparing the Iran nuclear deal to the Holocaust have been widely denounced by American Jewish organizations but have won praise from the Sheldon Adelson-funded Zionist Organization of America.


Wieseltier on Iran: Laughable

Avowed interventionist Leon Wieseltier has written a piece lambasting the Iran nuclear deal that critics contend is rife with hollow arguments and inconsistencies that refute themselves.


Anti-Iran Deal Groups Better Funded Than Pro-Deal Groups By Nearly Five to One

Groups lobbying against the Iran nuclear deal have a massive financial advantage over pro-deal organizations.


Former Bush Diplomats Push Back on Criticism of Iran Deal

Prominent former officials and diplomats, including from the George W. Bush administration, as well as nuclear experts, have all come out in support of the Iran nuclear deal.


Former AIPAC Official on Iran’s Importance to AIPAC

According to a former AIPAC official, the lobby is heavily investing in sinking the Iran nuclear deal for a variety of reasons, none of which have to do with the merits of the agreement itself.


100-Plus Former US Ambassadors Applaud Iran Deal

With the controversy over the Iran deal heating up, more than 100 former U.S. ambassadors have signed a letter lauding the agreement and urging support from Congress.


Iran Deal Heads Toward Showdown With Adelson’s GOP

Sheldon Adelson, the Republican Party’s largest donor and a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has had a significant impact on the GOP’s rejection of the Iran nuclear negotiations.


The Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Choice

Everything that opponents of the Iran deal claim to worry about would be far worse without a deal.


The Heavy Historical Baggage of US Policy Toward the Middle East

American attitude and assumptions towards the Middle East, and thus U.S. foreign policies, have been weighed down by accumulating historical baggage.


Document Reveals Billionaire Backers Behind United Against Nuclear Iran

A new report has revealed several of the hawkish billionaire funders behind the secretive United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) group.


Congress on Iran and Israel

Various bills and resolutions circulating in Congress promote hardline “pro-Israel” positions on Iran and the Palestinians.


The WINEP Letter and the Bipartisan Fallacy

A recent open letter by the hawkish Washington Institute for Near East Policy about the Iran nuclear negotiations was signed by many figures who claim they support a nuclear deal with Iran, but whose past recommendations would have led to war with Iran.


Critiquing a Critique of Obama’s Approach to Iran

The authors of an open letter published by the hawkish Washington Institute for Near East Policy most likely knew that their statement was intended to set goals for the negotiations that are unattainable.


Why is Michael Oren Trashing Obama?

Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., has released a new book vilifying President Obama and his supposed treatment of the U.S.-Israel relationship.


The Contradictions of Elliott Abrams

Neocon stalwart Elliott Abrams prides himself on having a passion for democracy and human rights even as he has brazenly praised the tightening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.


The Great Iran PMD Freakout

Critics of the Iran nuclear negotiations fail to see that any potential agreement was always going to be a compromise and that what they claim are “concessions” are really the compromises necessary for a successful deal.


FDD’s Cliff May Misses the Irony

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Clifford May conveniently criticizes China for creating “facts on the ground” in the South China Sea while ignoring similar Israeli moves in the Occupied West Bank.


Iraq: Surge Resurgence?

The neoconservative claim that George W. Bush “won” the Iraq War is ridiculous.


The Bomb Iran Lobby Gears Up for 2016

A tight-knit network of think-tank gurus, special interest groups, and media pundits have peddled a plethora of alarmist narratives aimed at scuttling the Iran nuclear negotiations.


Congress and Political Prisoners: Condemning Iran, Helping Egypt

While Congress regularly denounces Iran for its human rights situation and its imprisonment of several American citizens, it ignores the appalling human rights situation in Egypt, where numerous American citizens have also been held.


More Distortions on Iran from the Times

A recent New York Times article alleging that Iran has not abided by the interim-nuclear deal reached in 2013 has been rebuked by nuclear experts, the State Department, and an expert who says his quote in the piece was taken out of context.


Why the US-Iran Nuclear Deal May Still Fail

The ceaseless efforts of U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia to undermine the Iran nuclear negotiations may ultimately pay off and prevent a deal from being reached by the end of June.


Throwing Good Money After Bad in Yemen?

Despite the Obama administration’s claims to the contrary, the U.S.-supported, Saudi-led attack on Yemen has made a political solution to the Yemen conflict less likely.


The Desperate Plight of a Declining Superpower

Strategies aimed at perpetuating U.S. global supremacy are destined to result in “imperial overstretch,” a reality that can only be avoided by abandoning the pretense that the United States remains the sole global superpower.


Iran Sanctions Regime Could Unravel with Failed Nuclear Deal

If the nuclear negotiations with Iran fail to reach a final deal, the sanctions regime against Iran could begin to unravel, according to top European diplomats.


Graham Turns To Iran Hawks For Campaign Funding

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) super PAC consists of a donor base of hawkish “Jewish conservatives,” who Graham appears to believe that in order to appeal to he must derail the Iranian nuclear negotiations.


Yemen’s War Is Redrawing the Middle East’s Fault Lines

The United States has played an important, if somewhat uncomfortable, role in the Yemen War by supporting the Saudi-led military strikes while quietly urging Riyadh to look for a political solution.


Following Paul Singer’s Money, Argentina, and Iran (Continued)

Billionaire investor Paul Singer, who has taken Argentina to court over its debt default, has been a significant financial contributor to a variety of hawkish groups seeking to defame the Argentine President.


America’s Hydra Problem in the Middle East

U.S. military strategy towards the Middle East often ignores the underlying issues that nurture militant movements and make them resilient, which are often the product of American policies.


Faith-Based Organisations Warn of Impending Nuclear Disaster

During the nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference at the United Nations, a coalition of faith-based organizations, activists, and civil society organizations called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.


Neocons vs. Neocon on Iran

The latest Iran bill wending its way through Congress has divided neoconservatives as Bill Kristol and his Emergency Committee for Israel find themselves attacked from the left by rightwing hawks like the Post’s Jennifer Rubin for their opposition to the bill.


Following the Money: The New Anti-Semitism?

The Washington Post has attempted to paint Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as anti-Semitic for connecting billionaire Paul Singer and the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), while avoiding any mention of the financial connection between Singer and FDD.


Elliott Abrams’ Shell Game on Settlements

Elliott Abrams’ recent “concern” over Jewish settlements outside the major settlement blocs in the West Bank is a red herring, as it avoids the obstacle existing settlements pose to achieving a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.


Poe’s Financial Ties To MEK May Explain Maryam’s House Testimony

Rep. Ted Poe’s unusual invitation to MEK-leader Maryam Rajavi to provide testimony on ISIS before Congress may be due to the significant funding Poe receives from MEK supporters.


Lindsey Graham’s “All-Jewish Cabinet”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently spoke bluntly about his aim to rely on “pro-Israel” funding to support his potential run for president.


Iran Hawks Clearly Unhappy With Corker

Prominent neoconservatives like Bill Kristol are upset over the watered-down Corker-Menendez bill on the Iranian nuclear negotiations, which President Obama has said he will not veto.


AIPAC to UANI: Make Gary Samore Shut Up!

United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), the secretive neoconservative group, is apparently intent on distancing itself from the comments of its own president, Gary Samore, who has spoken favorably of the framework agreement reached with Iran.


Paul Singer’s EMP Fetish

Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, a major Republican donor and “pro-Israel” hawk, has recently been sounding the alarm about the alleged threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack.


AIPAC’s “No One Wants War” in Iran Claim Debunked

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has stated that critics of a nuclear deal do not want a war with Iran, even as a long list of individuals associated with AIPAC have explicitly called for war with Iran.


Who Is Bankrolling Mark Kirk?

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is a major recipient of funding from prominent hawkish donors and AIPAC-aligned political action committees.


Obama Prepares for Showdown with Congress Over Iran Deal

Now that a final nuclear deal with Iran is on the horizon, Republicans in Congress will have a harder time convincing their Democratic counterparts to sign on to potentially damaging bills.


The Deal with Iran: Five Arguments to Watch Out For

As the Iran nuclear talks enter the final stretch, there are five main things to watch out for from those stoking hysteria about a potential agreement with Iran.


Obama in the Middle East: Condominium Or Equilibrium?

As recent events demonstrate, the Obama administration has a vision of Middle East equilibrium that balances limited rapprochement with Iran with a continued military alliance with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.


Another Likud Republican: Jeb Bush Pledges “Unwavering” Support for Bibi

Jeb Bush, presumptive 2016 Republican presidential candidate, says that his “support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu is unwavering,” thereby helping confirm that multi-billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has effectively gained control of the Republican Party leadership.


Iran, North Korea, and the Congress that Says No

The Iran nuclear negotiations are similar to diplomatic efforts made with North Korea 20 years ago, which were also met with opposition from congressional hawks.


An Early Look at Bibi’s Surprise Victory

With Netanyahu’s dramatic election victory, the United States and Europe will have to exert enormous pressure on Israel to change its approach to negotiations with the Palestinians.


Political Backlash in the Gulf

A new report by Chatham House argues that if the United States seeks long-term stability in the Middle East, it must begin empowering opposition voices in the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf.


Hey FDD: Israelis are Treating Jihadis, Too

While the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies has lambasted Turkey for treating al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in its hospitals, it has turned a blind eye to Israeli medical support of the same militants.


GOP’s Man of the Moment Promoted by RJC’s Singer and Adelson

The new face of the GOP war hawks, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)—who masterminded the controversial letter to Iran signed by 47 Republican Senators—has been a major recipient of financial donations from billionaire rightwing “pro-Israel” donors Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer.


How to Create a National Insecurity State

So-called policy intellectuals have for decades shaped the national security strategy of the United States, it is past time to stop taking their judgments or the people who promote them seriously.


Republicans Overreach: Part Deux

A letter signed by 47 Republican senators to Iran’s leaders has been derided as reflecting a poor understanding of U.S. and international law—it could also potentially solidify Democratic opposition to congressional efforts to sabotage negotiations.


Further Reflections on Bibi’s Speech and His Friends

Not mentioned in most news reports about Netanyahu’s speech was that key guests at the address included Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and neoconservative ideologue Bill Kristol.


How Bibi’s Speech Plays in Tehran

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to convince Congress last week that a nuclear deal with Iran would be bad, a delegation consisting of European Parliament members and former high-ranking diplomats held brainstorming sessions with their Iranian counterparts on a host of issues aimed at improving relations between the EU and Tehran.


Survey Shows Strong Majority Support for Obama Approach on Iran

According to a new poll, a strong majority of the U.S. public supports a nuclear agreement with Iran in line with what the Obama administration has been negotiating for.


Corker Bill Threatens Iran Negotiations

Hawkish Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are back with a new version of their bill that threatens to sabotage a comprehensive nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran.


The Incoherence of Bibi’s Sabotage Effort

Netanyahu’s attempt to punch holes in a prospective nuclear deal as well as define a morning-after narrative regarding Iran fails to stand up to post-speech scrutiny.


AIPAC: Bibi’s Voice or His Victim?

Instead of elevating AIPAC’s stature, Benjamin Netanyahu has completely upstaged it.


Bibi’s Eleven Bogus Arguments on Iran

The eleven most prominent arguments echoed by Netanyahu against the Iranian nuclear negotiations have been thoroughly debunked.


The Real Subject of Netanyahu’s Congressional Spectacle (It Isn’t Nukes)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main reason for staking out such a hardline on Iran is less about controlling its nuclear program than ensuring that Iran has a permanent pariah status that would preclude Washington-Tehran rapprochement.


Opinion: The Middle East and Perpetual War

The primary reason the United States is militarily involved in the Middle East is to support Israel, which has led to its loss of credibility across the region.


Forget Bibi: Let’s Hear More from Our NATO Allies

Rather than allowing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to dominate the media stories about the Iran nuclear negotiations, more airtime and even invitations to address Congress should be given to our NATO allies.


The Unwritten American Rules of the Road

There is a clear correlation between state secrecy and the rule of law—as one grows, the other surely shrinks.


Jeb Wishes the Bush War Away

Jeb Bush’s failure to repudiate his brother’s Iraq War leaves the question if he has similar attitudes towards the use of military force.


America and the Middle East after the Islamic State

If the Obama administration wants to avoid the Bush administration’s mistakes in Iraq, it must find a way to ensure that a war against ISIS does not become “enduring” or morph into an “occupation.”


The Growing Danger of Mission Creep against the Islamic State

The Obama administration’s draft Authorization for Use Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS is dangerously broad and risks U.S. mission creep.


Lest We Forget: Bibi’s “Wisdom” on Iraq

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s enthusiastic promotion of the invasion of Iraq in Congress in 2002 begs the question why his current assessments about Iran should be viewed as any more accurate than his assessments about Iraq.


Obama’s Last National Security Strategy

The 2015 National Security Strategy, President Obama’s last, fails to provide any sense of how the United States will be able to afford to address the numerous challenges facing the country and the world while it remains committed to pouring resources into the usual panoply of tanks, fighter jets, and drones.


Former Israeli Opposition Leader Puts Bibi-Boehner Ploy Bluntly

A former Israeli opposition leader has derided Prime Minister Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress in a revealing op-ed published in Haaretz.


Update on Bibi-Boehner Fallout

House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) unilateral invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress has served above all else to persuade some Democrats to rally behind President Obama.


Who Are the Billionaires Attacking Obama’s Iran Diplomacy?

A new investigation has shed light on the billionaire donors behind The Israel Project, a hawkish “pro-Israel” advocacy group.


Congress Takes Aim At the Palestinians

Hawkish members of Congress want to suspend U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority as punishment for bringing their grievances against Israel to the International Criminal Court.


Fact-checking Bibi and Company’s Talking Points on Iran

Experts have fact-checked Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer’s talking points on Iran, which are likely to be reiterated by Netanyahu in his address to Congress in March, and found them to be less than accurate.


Save Us from Washington’s Visionaries

President Obama has lacked a foreign policy vision, but instead of replacing his national security team with the old foreign policy elite, he should turn to a new crop of visionaries.


Analysts on Iran: Time to Move Beyond Sanctions

Three top foreign policy analysts have criticized efforts by Congress to levy new sanctions on Iran.


Let Nuclear Sanctions on Iran Serve Their Final Purpose

In order to reach a deal that significantly scales back Iran’s nuclear program, nuclear sanctions on the country should be lifted, not suspended.


Middle Eastern Turmoil and the Scaremongering on Iran

The latest twist in the Iran nuclear talks is the deal killers’ efforts to paint recent turmoil in the region a result of Iran’s “evil doings.”


Obama-Congress Iran Sanctions Battle Goes International

The White House has earned support from world leaders and even Israeli intelligence in its warnings against Congress passing additional Iran sanctions.


State of the Empire in 2015

President Obama’s State of the Union address highlighted some defensible goals in regards to foreign policy, but left out some crucial context.


Return the Focus to Islamic State Central

As he meets with members of the anti-ISIS coalition in London, Secretary of State John Kerry should act to ensure the spotlight remains on greater action against ISIS by US allies.


Looking Beyond a Nuclear Agreement with Iran

A new report by the Center for New American Security, a think tank close to the Obama White House, emphasizes any change in the United States’ relationship with Iran will be gradual.


Boehner Bringing Bibi to Washington

House Speaker John Boehner has announced that he has invited Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, in a move the White House has called “departure from protocol.”


Josh Block Misrepresents New Iran Sanctions Bill In SOTU Talking Points

A list of talking points sent by the head of the Israel Project to reporters ahead of the State of the Union address misrepresented Congress’ new Iran sanctions bill.


Why WaPo Gets the Iran Sanctions Fight Wrong

In a recent editorial, the Washington Post tacitly endorsed Congress’ push for additional sanctions on Iran while failing to make clear to its readers all the risks this poses.


OPINION: Islamic Reformation, the Antidote to Terrorism

Terrorism in the name of Islam will remain a menace for Muslims and non-Muslims until political systems in the Arab and Muslim world are replaced and Islam undergoes a reformation.


Europe’s Coming Battle

Forget the false frame of the West versus Islam, the real battle is over the soul for Europe, with the far-right increasingly animated by Muslim immigration.


Charlie Hebdo: Middle East Blowback?

The attack on Charlie Hebdo has renewed concerns that blowback from the fighting in Syria and Iraq is reaching Europe.


OPINION: Doubling Down on Dictatorship in the Middle East

In a sign of the decreasing U.S. emphasis on democratization, Washington has increased support for authoritarian regimes throughout the Middle East.


Lower Oil Prices Will Not Turn Producers into Pushovers

The belief that lower oil prices push U.S. rivals to make concessions is mistaken and discourages U.S. flexibility in important negotiations.


US Twists Arms to Help Defeat Resolution on Palestine

A U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories failed to be adopted after U.S. pressure on member states to vote against the resolution or abstain.


Lindsey Graham Says Congress Will “Follow [Bibi’s] Lead”

Sen. Lindsey Graham has remarkably gone to Jerusalem and told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. Congress will follow his lead with respect to Iran sanctions.


Cuba and United States Now Foment Moderation in the Americas

The détente between the United States and Cuba saves the Organization of American States from corrosion caused by the exclusion of Cuba.


Okinawa: The Small Island Trying to Block the US Military’s “Pivot to Asia”

The landslide victory of a new governor in Okinawa who opposes U.S. efforts to construct additional military bases on the island obstructs America’s “pivot to Asia.”


Ex-IAEA Chief Warns on Using Unverified Intel to Pressure Iran

Former IAEA Director General Hans Blix has recently called for greater skepticism about the intelligence documents and reports alleging Iranian nuclear weapons work.


After 53 Years, Obama To Normalize Ties with Cuba

President Obama’s announcement of a change of course on Cuba has spurred derision from hardliners in Congress.


Friends, Not Just Enemies, of an Iranian Nuclear Deal are Imperiling It

The main opponents to a nuclear deal with Iran are those with don’t want to see Iran integrated into the international community regardless of the nuclear issue.


Release of Senate Torture Report Insufficient, Say Rights Groups

Many human rights groups have said the release of the Senate torture report does not go far enough and have called on the Obama administration to prosecute those responsible for the CIA’s torture program.


After Hagel, Washington’s War Party Parties On

The departure of Chuck Hagel comes at a time when the “war party” is ascendant in Washington.


Poll: Increasing Support In US For One-State Solution

A recent poll shows that support among US citizens for a single-state in Israel and the Occupied Territories—where all would have full and equal rights—has increased by ten percentage points in the past year.


By Pushing for More Sanctions, US Hardliners Play Into Hands of Iranian Hardliners

Additional U.S. sanctions on Iran would play into the hands of Iranian hardliners and discourage cooperation from Tehran, as well as from China, Russia, and Europe.


Replacing Hagel: Obama’s Last Chance?

In choosing his next secretary of defense, President Obama can begin to move in the right direction by avoiding a “yes person.”


Was the Iran Deal Threatened by US Sanctions Provisions?

As nuclear talks between Iran and world powers are extended, hawkish elements in Washington are ramping up their efforts to impose additional economic pressure on Iran.


Pro-Israel Hawks Take Wing over Extended Iran Nuclear Talks

With talks between Iran and the P5+1 extended by seven months, “pro-Israel” and Republican hawks have ramped up their rhetoric, calling for Congress to be given a veto over any final deal.


Iran Nuclear Talks Miss Final Deal Deadline, Agree to Extension

Negotiators in Vienna failed to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program and extended the deadline to July 1, 2015.


Calling Sens. Mitchell, Daschle—Your “Bipartisan” Center Is In Funny Company

The Bipartisan Policy Center, which claims to support “reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue,” has firmly aligned itself with neoconservatives on Iran.


OPINION: Why Israel Opposes a Final Nuclear Deal with Iran and What to Do About It

Israel’s chief fear in a possible nuclear deal with Iran is that it will lose an enemy that it shares in common with the United States, and thus Washington’s commitment to its security.


What a GOP Senate Means for Obama’s Foreign Policy

A Republican-controlled Senate could leave a huge imprint on President Obama’s foreign policy agenda during his last two years in office.


US Troops Would Have Withdrawn from Iraq With or Without Obama

George W. Bush and Barack Obama both sought to convince former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s to keep U.S. troops being in Iraq. Both failed.


Iran Nuclear Talks: Reading the Tea Leaves

As the November 24 deadline for reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran approaches, the different sides are scrambling to ensure all bases are covered before the official resumption of talks in Vienna on November 18.


Netanyahu Is a National Security Risk—And Washington Knows It

Once a taboo topic in Washington, leading members of the foreign policy establishment now increasingly scrutinize Israel’s actions.


New Resource for Tracking US Military and Police Aid

A recently launched website unveils U.S. security and military assistance to countries around the world.


Netanyahu and Obama: Name-Calling and its Discontents

Recent name-calling notwithstanding, US-Israel relations are not at a point of crisis, but could be in the near future.


The US Must Do Less To Resolve the Israel-Palestine Conflict

The U.S. bears enormous responsibility for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and needs to do less, in terms of its overriding commitment to Israel, to resolve this conflict.


Beltway Foreign Policy Groups to Congress: Stay Out of the Way on Iran!

A recent letter to members of Congress from 37 organizations urges support for the White House’s efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.


As Optimism Grows, Possible Iran Deal Gains Key Endorsement

A recent endorsement for a possible nuclear deal with Iran by an influential former official will provide much needed political cover to shaky Democrats.


US Airdrops to Kobani Kurds Mark New Stage in ISIL Conflict

Obama’s decision to airdrop new weapons and supplies to Kurdish fighters in the besieged town of Kobani has been praised by Republican hawks, who have called for much stronger action, including no-fly zones and attacks on Syrian military targets.


Gaza and the Bipartisan War on Human Rights

Democrats and Republicans in Washington have been swift in their efforts to discredit human rights groups who have criticized the Israeli government’s talking points on Gaza.


OPINION: The US and a Crumbling Levant

The crumbling Levant poses a greater danger than ISIL and must be addressed first and foremost by the states of the region.


Bookends of America’s Broken Regional Policy

America’s Cold-War era Middle East policy of relying on a cast of autocratic states plus Israel must change.


US Policy Towards Iran Played Big Role in Rise of Sunni Extremism

The longstanding U.S. policy of not engaging Iran and working to contain its influence in the Middle East has in fact contributed to rising sectarian tensions and extremism in the region.


The Futility of the Long US War in the Middle East

The U.S. track record of using military force in the Middle East has tended to make things worse rather than better, and there is no reason to believe things will be different in the campaign against ISIS.


For Airstrikes on the Islamic State, US Relaxing Drone Strikes’ Burden of Proof

The Obama administration has announced that the strict standards it set-out last year to prevent civilian deaths in U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military actions in Iraq and Syria.


U.S. Anti-ISIL Strategy Drawing Growing Skepticism

President Obama’s anti-ISIL strategy is drawing growing skepticism amid ISIL gains against the Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani and on the eastern edge of Al-Anbar province in Iraq in spite of U.S.-led airstrikes and recent U.S. helicopter gunship attacks.


Iran Talks: A Painful Choice Looms

With a wide gap between the two sides in the Iran nuclear talks over how much nuclear enrichment capacity Iran should have, the prospect of not reaching a deal is on the horizon. Tolerating Iranian operation of nine or ten thousand centrifuges would be the lesser of two evils – the greater evil being no deal.


Barack Obama and the Will to Fight

President Obama does not lack a “will to fight,” as many of his critics claim, especially given the many military interventions that have taken place under his watch. He does, however, lack a will to fight hawkish opponents in Congress and the media.


Netanyahu Disappoints at the UN

During his recent UN speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of trying to “fool the world with a moderate president,” equated Hamas with the Islamic State, and failed to make any mention of the two-state solution, instead claiming that Israelis have had a “singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years.”


President of Anti-Nuclear-Iran Group Dismisses Imminent Threat of Iranian Nuke

Gary Samore, president of the controversial pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran, does not appear to share the same alarmist tendencies as others associated with the group. What gives?


Rouhani Looks to Warmer Ties with Saudis, Tepidly Criticizes US Syria Strikes

At a press breakfast during his trip to New York for the UN General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani questioned the legality of U.S. strikes on Syria, expressed hope for reaching a nuclear agreement with the P5+1, and called for warmer ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia.


ISIS Complicates Iran’s Nuclear Focus at UNGA

As nuclear negotiations between Iran and international negotiators approach their November deadline, domestic criticism in Iran and the U.S., as well as the complicated regional politics surrounding ISIS, may influence their course.


Nuclear Deal with Iran Likely to Enhance U.S. Regional Leverage

A new report by former senior U.S. foreign-policy officials and regional experts argues that a U.S. nuclear accord with Iran could open the way for cooperation on a host of challenges in the Middle East, including responding to ISIS in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.


Declining Majority Still Supports “Active” U.S. Role in World Affairs

Though recent global unrest has spurred an uptick in public support for military interventions, favorable U.S. attitudes toward the use of force abroad appear to be on the decline.


Obama’s Anti-ISIS Strategy Met with Skepticism

President Barack Obama’s proposal to attack ISIS will likely receive support from Congress, but experts question his choice of tactics and allies.


U.S. Bypasses Security Council on Impending Invasion of Syria

Despite earlier saying that an attack on Syria would require authorization by the UN Security Council, the Obama administration has suggested that it will bypass the UN in its campaign against ISIS.


Mideast Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Remains in Limbo

Although political conditions and opposition from the U.S. and Israel have stymied efforts to create a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, disarmament activists remain optimistic that progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran will open the door for wider talks.


Dick Cheney’s Laundry List of Threats Enthralls AEI

In a recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute, former Vice President Dick Cheney said the United States should be committing “substantial military forces” to address purported threats in at least 10 countries.


How the Government and Private Elites Have Teamed Up for Decades to Astroturf America

Recent revelations about United Against Nuclear Iran’s access to sensitive materials have spurred allegations that it’s actually a U.S. government front. It wouldn’t be the first.


Iraq On the Precipice

As ISIS plunges Iraq into a new sectarian and humanitarian crisis, the U.S. media has ceded the discussion of solutions to proponents of the war that helped ISIS come about.


AIPAC’s Problems

As AIPAC and other U.S. “pro-Israel” groups have drifted to the hawkish right, they’ve lost support from many reliably “pro-Israel” Democrats and liberal Zionists, widening the gap between the U.S. Jewish community and Israel’s right-wing government.


Project for a New American Imbroglio

Many prominent Iraq War boosters are now supporting U.S. incursions into Syria alongside a fresh intervention in Iraq.


Obama Mulling Broader Strikes Against ISIS?

Obama administration officials have strongly hinted that they are considering expanding their intervention against ISIS over the Syrian border.


Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Wrong Wars

Although the Obama administration has grown skeptical of full-blown military interventions, it has increased its reliance on air strikes and special forces—forms of intervention that are no more capable of influencing political or strategic outcomes than their predecessors.


Violations of International Law Denigrate U.N.

Many of the most egregious violators of international law are not rogue dictatorships but developed democracies like the United States and its allies.


Public Offers Support for Obama’s Iraq Intervention

Recent polling reveals a degree of public support for the recent U.S. intervention in Iraq, though a majority of respondents also worried that the U.S. would go “too far” in responding to the threat posed by ISIS.


Islamic State in Iraq: Confronting the Threat

Political settlements in Iraq and Syria—preferably ones that depose Nouri al-Maliki and Bashar al-Assad, respectively—would go much further toward stopping ISIS than airstrikes.


U.S. Avoided Threat to Act on Israel’s Civilian Targeting

Despite repeated insistences that it urged Israel to reduce civilian casualties, the U.S. government has systematically played down Israeli abuses and recited Israeli government talking points about the latest war in Gaza.


Qualified Backing for Obama’s Iraq Intervention

Inside the Beltway, President Obama’s decision to launch a limited military action in northern Iraq has garnered qualified support from across the political spectrum.


The Affinity Between Iraqi Sunni Extremists and the Rulers of Saudi Arabia

The extremist group ISIS has used a Saudi tactic—monopolizing oil revenues—to fund its brutal execution of a Saudi goal: the repression of the Middle East’s Shiites.


Israel’s U.S.-Made Military Might Overwhelms Palestinians

The latest conflict between Israel and Hamas brings to bear the vast technological superiority of Israeli’s U.S.-backed and U.S.-supplied military.


U.S., Russia, China Hamper ICC’s Reach

The influence of the International Criminal Court has grown steadily over the years, but the organization remains hampered by opposition from the United States, China, and Russia, as well as by charges that it chiefly prosecutes African leaders at the expense of human rights abusers elsewhere.


5 Things to Know About the Extended Nuclear Talks with Iran

Although Iran hawks have sought to portray the recent extension of talks over the country’s nuclear enrichment program as evidence that they are faltering, the highly technical negotiations have achieved a tremendous amount in the last year.


Why No Vetoed Resolutions on Civilian Killings in Gaza?

China and Russia have staunchly resisted Western-backed UN resolutions against the Syrian regime, but they have proven unwilling to challenge the West directly by introducing their own resolution against Israel’s latest incursion into Gaza.


The Silent Power of Boycotts and Blockades

Across the globe, nonviolent movements for peace and demilitarization are showing results.


U.S. Blames Victims of Its own Failed Foreign Policies

As it did in Vietnam, the United States has strenuously sought to blame others for the mess it created by invading Iraq.


U.S.: What Is the Greatest Threat of Them All?

While many realists in Washington support U.S. cooperation with Iran and even Syria to roll back gains made by ISIS in Iraq, neoconservatives and Washington’s Gulf allies are rallying against any normalization of U.S. relations with Iran.


In Latest Republican Split, Tea Party Takes on Export-Import Bank

While opposition to the U.S. Export-Import bank, which financially incentivizes the purchase of U.S. exports, previously came from the left, the House Tea Party faction has launched a revolt against the bank and its backers in the business community and the GOP establishment.


Neo-Cons, Hawks Can’t Get No Iraq Traction

Despite their ubiquity on television talk shows and newspaper op-ed pages, the hawks who propelled the U.S. into war in Iraq 11 years ago appear to be falling short in their efforts to persuade the public and Congress that Washington needs to return.


European MEK Supporters Downplay ISIS Role in Iraq

Some European supporters of the exiled Iranian opposition group MEK have played down the role of ISIS in Iraq, painting the violence plaguing the country as a popular revolution against an Iranian-backed autocrat.


The Real Causes of Iraq’s Problems

Although Iraq’s Sunnis have a multitude of legitimate grievances against Shia Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, much of the country’s current unrest is a result of preexisting social fractures, Western meddling, and predatory behavior by the country’s largely Sunni neighbors.


Zarif Reveals Iran’s Proposal for Ensuring Against “Breakout”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has reportedly disclosed a plan to international negotiators to prevent Iran from obtaining “breakout” nuclear weapons capability while still retaining its right to enrich uranium.


Did the Pro-Israel Lobby Contribute to Eric Cantor’s Defeat?

The recently defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor enjoyed plenty of support from the Israel lobby, but an increasing tendency by some ‘pro-Israel’ activists to support the Tea Party may have contributed to Cantor’s upset by a Tea Party primary challenger.


Sports and Violence: A Red Card for Israel

While Israel uses soccer to bolster its international image, critics note that it has violently oppressed the Palestinian national soccer team.


Timelines Dominate Iran Nuclear Talks

Establishing Iranian trust of U.S. motives will be key to negotiating timelines for sanctions relief and guidelines for future nuclear enrichment in the country.


Libya: A Cautionary Tale

Beset by infighting among militias and rampant arms trafficking, Libya has become a cautionary tale about the long-term consequences of military intervention.


A Common Vision: The Abolition of Militarism

One hundred years after the start of World War I, new calls are emerging to resuscitate the peace movement that flourished in the decades before the war.


International Cooperation on Key Issues Fell in 2013

A recent report by the Council on Foreign Relations highlights declining global cooperation across a range of issues—especially climate change, conflict prevention, and nuclear deproliferation.


Syria’s Twin Jihads

The longer Syria’s civil war drags on, the more it develops a religious character for its sectarian combatants—Sunni and Shiite alike.


Gates Wrote Obama’s West Point Speech

Neoconservatives and hawks have hammered Barack Obama over his support for a less militarized U.S. foreign policy, but his views are virtually indistinguishable from those of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Republican they seldom criticized.


Obama Announces Final Afghanistan Withdrawal by End-2016

President Barack Obama has announced that all U.S. troops will be removed from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.


Obama Stresses Multilateralism over Militarism at West Point

President Barack Obama has announced a plan to fight terrorism through multilateral actions and cooperation with foreign governments rather than U.S.-led military action.


Obama Signals Reset of U.S. Foreign Policy

President Obama has indicated a desire to reposition U.S. foreign policy toward multilateral priorities and away from military force, but has yet to articulate a strategy for the transition.


Anti-Semitic Attitudes Strongest in Arab World

A new poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) suggests that anti-Jewish views are three times more prevalent in the Middle East than the global average.


The Three-War Doctrine

Hyping threats from Russia, China, and the rest of the world, U.S. foreign policy hawks are crafting a confrontational agenda ahead of the 2016 presidential election.


Militarized Humanitarianism in Africa

The U.S. military is using humanitarian missions to gain a foothold for future interventions in Africa.


Tough Road in Vienna to Iran Nuclear Deal

As Iran meets with international negotiators in Vienna, some of the thorniest questions from the nuclear saga will be on the table—including how much of its enrichment capacity Tehran can retain, how sanctions will be rolled back, and how long Iran must abide by any agreement.


The Three Faces of Drone War

A small but growing group of former drone pilots is joining the campaign against the use of drones.


New Gestures to Opposition Unlikely to Change U.S. Syria Policy

The Obama administration has recently increased its assistance to Syrian rebels, but experts believe the White House is more interested in appeasing its allies and co-opting domestic opponents than measurably changing its involvement in the war.


U.N. Probe Chief Doubtful on Syria Sarin Exposure Claims

A UN investigation into the Assad regime’s alleged sarin attack outside Damascus suggests that fewer people were affected than originally reported.


Iran Nuclear Deal: Uphill on the Homestretch?

Iran’s latest nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 powers have thus far proceeded smoothly, though lingering questions remain over breakout capacity, possible weaponization, and the duration of any concluded agreement.


The Two-State Option is Dead: Time for New Thinking

With the demise of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, activists and academics are considering alternatives to the elusive two-state solution.


Obama’s Half-Pivot to Asia

Ever since the Obama administration announced its ‘strategic rebalance’ of U.S. foreign policy away from the Middle East and toward the Asia-Pacific, the effort has encountered both domestic and foreign challenges.


Kerry Draws Israel Hawks’ Ire Amid Failed Talks

The neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel has called for Secretary of State John Kerry to resign over his off-the-record warning—one previously issued by Israeli politicians—that Israel could become an “apartheid” state if negotiations over a Palestinian state fail.


Possible Deal With Iran On Arak: What Does It Mean?

Iran’s vice president recently suggested that Tehran has reached a deal with international negotiators over the heavy water reactor at Arak, which has been a sticking point for critics who allege that Iran is planning on weaponizing its nuclear program in the future.


U.S. Public Feeling More Multilateral Than Isolationist

A new poll shows considerable U.S. support for cooperative international engagement, but not for unilateral military adventures.


Gates on the Israeli Tail’s Attempt to Wag the Dog in 2007

In his memoir, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recalls sternly warning President George W. Bush against heeding Dick Cheney’s advice to green light an Israeli attack on Iran.


Obama Seeks to Reassure Anxious Asians on “Rebalance”

As the U.S. attempts to reassure its allies in Asia of its longstanding security commitments in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, some Asian leaders—such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—are making provocative gestures toward their rivals, complicating Washington’s balancing act between containing China and engaging it.


Mark Kirk: First I was for the State Department, Now I Prefer Israel

Sen. Mark Kirk, the strongly hawkish Republican from Illinois who has accused the State Department of playing politics by negotiating with Iran, has grown increasingly strident in his support for Israel as campaign donations from “pro-Israel” groups has ballooned.


The Politics of the EU Resolution on Iran

A recent resolution passed by the European Parliament promoting renewed engagement between Iran and the EU has angered Iran because it scrutinizes Tehran’s human rights record and calls on EU diplomats to meet with Iranian dissidents.


Truman Was Less “Pro-Israel” than Commonly Known, New Book Says

A new book argues that President Harry Truman, the U.S. president who first recognized the state of Israel, was skeptical of a Jewish-led state, preferring instead a joint Jewish-Arab federation in Palestine.


The WaPo’s Strange Treatment of Adelson Pal Paul Singer

In its report on GOP mega-donor Paul Singer’s financial support for gay rights causes, the Washington Post neglected to mention Singer’s potentially greater support for hardline neoconservative foreign policy outfits.


Criminal Court a U.S.-Israeli “Red Line” for Palestinians

Although Palestinians have sought to pressure Israel by applying for membership in a host of international organizations, they have so far refrained from joining the International Criminal Court, which would enable them to bring war crimes cases against Israel.


Israel, the US, and the Palestinians: A Recipe for Failure

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may serve the interests of political leaders in Washington, Ramallah, and Tel Aviv, but they appear doomed to failure.


New Einhorn Report on Final Iran Deal Focuses Debate

A recent report by a Brookings scholar recommends passing a congressional authorization for war in the event that Iran abandons nuclear negotiations with the west.


U.S. Rejected Israeli Demand for Iran Nuclear Confession

The United States appears to have dropped a key Israeli demand that Iran ‘confess’ to past nuclear weapons research—which Iran has denied conducting—as a condition for a future deal.


Republican Presidential Hopefuls Troop to “Sheldon Primary”

Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates are already courting casino magnate and ‘pro-Israel’ mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.


Iran Is at a Crossroads

Support for reform in Iran and progress in nuclear negotiations depends on a political balance in the country that tentatively—but precariously—favors centrists over conservatives.


The Uses of Ukraine

Neoconservatives and their allies in the military-industrial complex and fossil fuel industry have seized upon the prospect of a new Cold War with Russia to push a host of pet causes.


A New World Order? Think Again.

A recent upturn in civil and interstate conflicts is a return to form for international politics, not a deviation—and it calls for caution, not wanton intervention.


Do Neocons Want a Deal with Iran?

Neoconservatives are pushing impossible standards for a settlement of the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, suggesting that they want little from the talks beyond a justification for war.


Middle East Sustains Appetite for Arms

Simmering regional tensions, fears of uprising, and abundant oil wealth are driving a glut of arms sales in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.


U.S.-Russia Bickering May Trigger Nuclear Fallout

Brinkmanship over the crisis in Crimea could lead to rollbacks in arms control agreements between the United States and Russia.


Russian Arms to Egypt Threaten to Undermine U.S. in Mideast

By supplying arms to Egypt’s historically U.S.-backed military, Russia may be attempting to drive a wedge between Washington and its longtime clients in Cairo.


What’s Going on in the Gulf? Unsurprisingly, It’s Probably About Iran

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE are launching a full-fledged diplomatic assault against Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, but the real cause may be Doha’s cordial ties with Tehran.


If a Two-State Solution Fails, What Next?

As the political window for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine closes, polls show surprising U.S. support for the “one-state” option.


U.S. Hawks Take Flight Over Ukraine

A familiar cast of neoconservatives is blaming Russia’s intervention in Ukraine on the Obama administration.


Crimea Faces a ‘Frozen Conflict’

In the absence of a political settlement in Kiev, Crimea could remain under Russian control indefinitely.


AIPAC Moves to Plan C for Congress

Thwarted in its attempt to push new Iran sanctions through Congress, AIPAC is now banking on getting bipartisan support for a watered-down letter about Iran’s nuclear enrichment capabilities.


Hagel Urges Less Money for U.S. Army, More for Special Forces

Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel’s recent proposal to cut the size of the regular Army while increasing funding for Special Forces in many ways reflects the approach of Donald Rumsfeld, who embraced a similar vision prior to the Iraq War.


U.S., EU Out-Maneuvered by Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains vulnerable, but a fractured armed opposition and polarized geopolitics mean that he’s unlikely to lose his grip on power in the immediate future.


U.S. Adopts Israeli Demand to Bring Iran’s Missiles into Nuclear Talks

The Obama administration has suggested that it will press Iran on halting its ballistic missile program, adopting a key Israeli demand that Iran may consider a deal breaker in talks over its nuclear enrichment program.


Nuke Summit Agenda Circumvents Armed Powers

An upcoming global summit to address the threat of nuclear weapons will focus on the proliferation of nuclear materials to rogue actors, but not on how to prevent the use of these weapons by the world’s current nuclear powers.


A Final Nuclear Deal With Iran

A workable nuclear deal with Iran must address lingering questions about uranium enrichment, the production of plutonium, verification, past research, sanctions relief, and future relations between Iran and the West.


An Iran in Flux Marks 35th Anniversary of Revolution

As Iran marks the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, new generations of leaders are discovering the value of diplomacy, even while fighting a rear-guard battle against hardliners and old-school revolutionaries.


Obama’s Arms Sales Policy: Promotion or Restraint?

The Obama administration has pledged not to sell arms to parties that violate human rights even as it’s given U.S. exporters free reign to export many new classes of weapons and equipment.


Zarif Messages to the US on Syria in Munich

U.S. efforts to get Iran to play a ‘constructive’ role in Syria behind closed doors are undermined by its condemnations of Iran in public.


SodaStream Super Bowl Ad Obscures More Important Economic Pressure On Israel

The dustup over actress Scarlett Johansson’s appearance in an advertisement for SodaStream, whose factory is located in the occupied West Bank, has obscured a deeper movement in the international community against doing business with entities that profit from or finance the Israeli occupation.


Poll Shows Diminishing Support for Two-State Solution

On the eve of an expected framework agreement between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, polls of both Israelis and Palestinians show diminishing support for—and optimism about—a two-state solution.


A Manufactured Nuclear Crisis

A new book by Gareth Porter argues that evidence of the Iranian ‘nuclear threat’ is largely the result of bureaucratic and ideological exaggeration, misinterpreted intelligence, and in some cases, forged documents.


The Arab World Has Changed, So Should Washington

If Washington banks again on autocratic leaders to preserve “stability” in the Middle East, it will sow the seeds of unrest for years to come.


Top Israel Lobby Group Loses Battle on Iran, But War Not Over

AIPAC and the “Israel lobby” suffered a heavy blow with its defeat over new Iran sanctions, but the legislation will likely return in force if nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers stumble.


Another Example of Why Congress Should Not Let the Bibi Dog Wag the U.S. Tail

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent claim that Hezbollah launched a missile attack on Israel—even when Israeli intelligence analysts say the Iranian-backed militia likely wasn’t responsible—illustrates a key problem with an Iran sanctions bill before Congress, which would pledge U.S. support for any purportedly “defensive” Israeli military actions against Iran or its proxies.


Israel Lobby Thwarted in Iran Sanctions Bid For Now

Mounting Democratic opposition to an AIPAC-backed bill that that would create new sanctions on Iran while nuclear negotiations are underway appears to have convinced Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to table the bill for now.


Gates Conceals Real Story of “Gaming” Obama on Afghan War

A recent memoir by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates accuses President Obama of being insufficiently committed to his own troop surge in Afghanistan, but neglects to mention that public and private pressure from top security officials limited the president’s options.


Neocons Who Brought You The Iraq War Endorse AIPAC’s Iran Bill

The Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative letterhead group that shares many names with the erstwhile Project for the New American Century, has just published an open letter backing new AIPAC-supported sanctions on Iran, giving credence to the belief that the sanctions are designed to sink negotiations between Iran and the West.


Fall of Fallujah Refocuses U.S. on Iraq

The capture of Fallujah by al-Qaeda-linked fighters has led some Washington policymakers to call for renewed U.S. assistance for the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki, while others warn that U.S. arms could be used to commit human rights abuses and bolster Maliki’s sectarian agenda.


Many More Snakes Than Ladders for U.S. Policy in 2014

President Barack Obama faces a number of critical foreign policy challenges in 2014—ranging from escalating tensions in East Asia and sectarian violence throughout the Middle East to the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan—but also big opportunities, including a potential rapprochement with Iran and progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace.


47 Senators Take AIPAC’s Word Over U.S. Intel Community

Forty-seven U.S. senators have signed on to cosponsor an AIPAC-backed Iran sanctions package that could tank U.S. diplomatic progress with Iran, which appears to be exactly what its advocates want.


Securing the Persian Gulf: Diplomacy, Not Arms

The United States is attempting to assure its client states in the Persian Gulf that arms sales, rather than diplomacy, can secure the region.


Kirk-Menendez-Schumer: Wag the Dog Act of 2014

The latest sanctions bill—introduced by “pro-Israel” Sens. Mark Kirk, Robert Menendez, and Chuck Schumer—violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the recent U.S. accord with Iran, and was likely designed to sink the interim accord over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.


Syria, CAR top U.N.’s Challenges for 2014

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has identified the ongoing disintegration of Syria and the Central African Republic as key challenges for the international community in 2014.


Iran Deal Out of Congressional Woods for 2013

The Israel lobby’s failure to move new Iran sanctions through Congress before the Christmas recess marks a major setback for opponents of the interim agreement with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.


Caveat Lector!

A recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by Republican former Secretaries of States Henry Kissinger and George Shultz makes numerous false presumptions about Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and the geopolitics surrounding it.


WaPo “Fact Checker” Fails On Iran Nuclear Fatwa

The Washington Post’s designated “fact checker” misrepresented important context—and quoted observers who were hardly disinterested—in a recent column casting doubt on Iran’s religious injunctions against producing nuclear weapons.


Will Steny Hoyer Kill Deal? Will Mandela Help Sustain It?

GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his Democratic counterpart Steny Hoyer are engaged in talks to push a resolution for new Iran sanctions through the House, even as the White house makes diplomatic progress with the regime in Tehran.


Poll Finds Iranians Skeptical of Rouhani Government

A new poll suggests that Iran’s nuclear enrichment program is of limited interest to most Iranians—until it is joined to the question of sanctions, in which case the program attracts nearly universal support.


Iran Deal Looks Safe from Lawmakers’ Attack for Now

Washington’s foreign policy elites have generally welcomed the interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, leaving little space for congressional hawks to advance new sanctions that could tank negotiations.


Iran Deal: Practical, Far-Sighted and Fair

In its agreement with the P5+1, Iran has agreed to inspections of its nuclear enrichment facilities that are considerably more intrusive than required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.


Rapid Reaction to the Iran Nuclear Deal

The recent deal struck between Iran and the P5+1 on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program should accommodate everyone but the war hawks.


Stakes over Iran Talks on the Rise

The U.S. Israel lobby has made clear that it will fight the implementation of any interim agreement with Iran that does not require Iran to fully dismantle its nuclear reactors.


Obama Gets More Time for Iran Nuclear Deal

The U.S. Senate appears unlikely to vote on any new Iran sanctions before December 2013, giving the administration time to reach an interim deal with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.


The NSA and the End of the U.S. Empire

The scandal surrounding the NSA’s surveillance of U.S. allies is the latest evidence that the United States has grown increasingly alienated from its clients.


Are Iran and the United States Headed Towards a “Heroic Agreement”?

Despite strident opposition in some quarters to efforts to reach an accord between Washington and Tehran, circumstances are gradually changing in favor of a deal.


Saudi Anger Masks Concern About Loss of Influence

Saudi concerns that U.S. rapprochement with Iran would sideline the conservative Sunni Gulf kingdom are key to understanding Saudi Arabia’s public spat with Washington.


No Deal Yet Over Iran’s Nuclear Program

Talks between Iran and the world powers known as the P5+1 have yet to yield an agreement.


Cracks Widen in U.S.-Saudi Alliance

Citing policy differences over Syria and a possible U.S. détente with Iran, Saudi Arabia has become increasingly willing to openly challenge U.S. policy in the Middle East.


Israel’s Nuclear Ambiguity Prodded

Israel is not about to relinquish its nuclear arsenal anytime soon, but a growing number of civil society activists are breaking the taboo about discussing it openly.


U.S.-Iran Poised for Breakthrough on Hostage Crisis Anniversary

Even as anti-American hardliners rally in Tehran and hawkish U.S. lawmakers peddle new sanctions legislation against Iran in Washington, experts believe a U.S.-Iran détente could be in the works.


Whither Nuclear Talks with Iran?

The necessary elements of a nuclear deal between the West and Iran have long been clear: submission to inspections by Iran, and an easing of sanctions and recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium by the West.


Iraq Retakes Washington Centre-Stage, Briefly

A recent visit to Washington by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki highlighted the growing U.S. concern about al-Qaeda activity in Iraq, but some lawmakers are skeptical that U.S. assistance can mitigate the violence, blaming it in part on Maliki’s authoritarian governance.


For U.S. in the Mideast, the Ice Is Getting Thinner

With Washington facing new challenges in its relations with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the United States is less equipped to dictate events in region than at any other point in recent history.


The End of the Beginning

Robert E. Hunter, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, was director of Middle East Affairs on the National Security Council Staff in the Carter Administration and in 2011-12 was Director of Transatlantic Security Studies at the National Defense University.


Saudi Arabia’s Pointless Theatrics

It remains unclear what Saudi Arabia hopes to gain by refusing a seat on the UN Security Council that it campaigned hard to receive.


Iran Hawks Down but Not Out After Geneva Talks

Although recent progress in nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers has blunted the momentum of Washington’s Iran hawks, congressional supporters of a strike on Iran are preparing legislative measures to chill the negotiations and limit the Obama administration’s ability to scale back sanctions in exchange for concessions.


Iran Nuclear Deal May Have its Beginnings in Geneva

Officials left the latest nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 feeling more optimistic than ever about a deal.


Collapsism

America’s foreign policy hawks are no longer counting on Iran to collapse, but North Korea and Cuba remain the “Teetering Twosome.”


With Obama Away, the Chinese Play

With Washington shut down and President Obama pulled away from trade negotiations in Asia, China is making an aggressive pitch to Washington’s trading partners in the region.


Araghchi: Iran Open To Additional Protocol As Part Of Endgame

Iran’s deputy foreign minister has indicated that Iran would be willing to allow additional inspections of its nuclear sites as part of an agreement with the United States and its allies.


Israel and the Gulf Increasingly Nervous Over Iran-U.S. Détente

As Iranian diplomats meet with their western counterparts in Geneva, Israel and the Gulf monarchies are united in their opposition to a U.S. peace agreement with Iran.


Neoconservatives Despair Over U.S.-Iran Diplomacy

Nervous about potential U.S. rapprochement with Tehran over its nuclear enrichment program, some neoconservatives are urging Israel to scuttle the deal by attacking Iran.


Hope and Pessimism as Israelis and Palestinians Resume Talks

Hardliners have begun to lose sway in the U.S. “pro-Israel” community, but the gulf between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating positions remains formidable in the latest round of U.S.-brokered talks.


How Syria Brought the U.S. and Iran Together

The emerging U.S.-Iran modus vivendi over Syria could be the beginning of the end for three decades of mutual hostility and estrangement.


Iran Hawks Gear Up

As the United States and Iran move towards renewed talks over Tehran’s nuclear enrichment program, anti-Iran hardliners in Washington and the Middle East are likely to step up their attacks on the process.


Remember Bibi’s Wisdom on Iraq 11 Years Ago

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu escalates his pressure on Washington to avert its rapprochement with Iran, critics recall his fervent support for the invasion of Iraq.


U.S., Iran Trade Cautious Overtures at U.N.

In their addresses to the UN General Assembly, U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani each indicated that they were committed to renewing diplomatic engagement between their two countries, which each administration appointing high-level diplomats to resume talks.


Speculation over Iran-U.S. Détente Continues Apace

With both sides sending conciliatory signals in advance of the UN General Assembly, a U.S.-Iran détente appears more within reach than ever—much to the chagrin of hawkish “pro-Israel” factions in the United States.


Nairobi Attack Exposes Flawed U.S. Terror Policies

The recent assault by Somali terrorists on a Kenyan mall has highlighted the limitations of—and blowback from—targeting terrorists without addressing certain root causes of terrorism.


Israel Silent on Chemical Weapons

The prospect of Syria relinquishing its chemical weapons arsenal has sparked discussion of whether Israel will be pressured to reduce its own widely suspected stockpile.


Hard Times for Iran Hawks

Amid collapsing support at home for military intervention and widening diplomatic inroads with U.S. rivals, Washington’s “pro-Israel” Iran and Syria hawks find themselves increasingly isolated.


Syria Diplomacy Helps Shuffle Global Order

The recent U.S. failure to marshal international support for military intervention in Syria—and subsequent reliance on diplomacy—highlights the increasing clout of other world powers and alliances.


Watchdog Body Will Oversee Private Military Contractors

Hundreds of military contractors have signed onto an agreement to regulate their conduct in overseas warzones, but critics warn that the agreement is voluntary and lacks an effective enforcement mechanism.


U.S. Public-Elite Disconnect Emerges Over Syria

While some foreign policy elites have lamented the creeping “isolationism” supposedly reflected in the growing public opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria, recent polls suggest that disillusionment over U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as economic concerns and the failure to muster multilateral support for an attack have been critical factors.


Russia Throws Obama a Life Preserver on Syria

With domestic and international support floundering for the Obama administration’s bid to attack Syria, a Russian proposal for Assad to turn over Syria’s chemical weapons is gaining steam.


Obama Increasingly Isolated on Syria Military Action

Washington’s failure to enlist a robust “coalition of the willing” for a strike on Syria mirrors the Obama administration’s failure to sell the war at home.


Iran Looms over Syria Debate for Pro-Israel Groups

Even as the Obama administration is attempting to couch its proposed military intervention in Syria as a humanitarian response to the use of chemical weapons, members of the right-wing “pro-Israel” lobby are pushing for strikes on Syria as an escalation in the U.S. standoff with Iran.


U.S. Neocon Hawks Take Flight Over Syria

A similar cast of neocons and hardliners who pushed for U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Libya is pressing the Obama administration to attack Syria.


Major U.S. Debate Over Wisdom of Syria Attack

Recent allegations that Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons have bolstered the standing of Washington’s Syria hawks, even as experts warn that the risks of intervention have not diminished.


Obama Should “Resist the Call” to Intervene in Syria

A former U.S. ambassador to NATO warns President Obama to avoid the temptation to intervene militarily in Syria and advises him to “place his bet on vigorous and unrelenting diplomacy for a viable post-Assad Syria.”


Washington’s Worries Grow Over Saudi Ties

Saudi Arabia, traditionally the linchpin of U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf, has increasingly distanced itself from Washington’s dictates, seeking an outside understanding with Russia over Syria and encouraging Egypt’s crackdown on supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi.


U.S., UK, France Seek Wider U.N. Support for Syria Probe

Over the objections of Russia and China, the United States, the UK, and France have been circulating a letter among UN member states pushing for a wider investigation into the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.


The American Right’s Holy War in Egypt

The neoconservative split over Egypt may not be symptomatic of what’s happening among other elements of the U.S. right, where a number of commentators have characterized the unrest in sectarian terms, arguing that the bloody military crackdown on Islamist protesters is a defense of Egypt’s Christians.


U.S. Arms Industry Would Lose Big from Egypt Aid Cut-Off

Most of the $1.3 billion in annual U.S. “aid” to Egypt goes directly to U.S.-based military contractors.


U.S. Condemns Military Crackdown in Egypt but No Aid Cut-off

Although it harshly condemned Egypt’s horrific crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Washington has indicated that it will continue to finance the Egyptian military.


While Officials Talk, Israelis Build

Illegal settlement growth continues in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem even as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet to discuss the division of land for a potential Palestinian state.


Freeing Prisoners, at a Price

The Israeli government’s decision to release over 100 long-serving Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are considered terrorists, has evoked complex feelings among Israelis.


U.S.-Russia Rift Could Impact Upcoming Nuke Talks

Some analysts worry that the United States and Russia could use the dustup over whistleblower Edward Snowden as a pretext to sink disarmament talks between the two preeminent nuclear powers.


Mideast Peace Talks Get New Lease on Life

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry exceeded expectations in getting Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the table for new peace talks, but signs of progress on final-status issues remain elusive.


New Bid for Mideast Talks after Five-Year Hiatus

Some observers—including former President Jimmy Carter—are optimistic that a referendum could provide popular legitimacy to a potential Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.


Advocates of Iran Engagement Get Unexpected Boost

Prospects for new unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran have appeared to dim after the release of a letter, signed by 131 House members, urging renewed engagement with Tehran.


Syria: Rebel In-Fighting Weakens Uprising

Fierce infighting among moderate and Islamist rebel groups, as well as Hezbollah’s entry into the war, have boosted the Assad regime in Syria.


Israel Resumes Threats Against Iran as Experts Urge Patience

Intelligence experts and diplomats are urging patience with Iran’s new president-elect, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some of his supporters in the U.S. Congress agitate for new threats.


Obama’s Many Middle East Miseries Multiply

From a tightrope act in Egypt to new obstacles in Syria, events in the Middle East have put the Obama administration in a precarious position.


New Iranian President; Same Old US Approach

By reflexively calling to maintain or increase sanctions on Iran, Washington commentators are helping to sully any opportunity to open a dialogue with Iran’s newly elected president, even as the U.S. faces regional challenges in Syria and Afghanistan that could be mitigated by cooperation with Tehran.


Egyptian Army’s Firepower Overwhelmingly US-Supplied

Military coup and the violent repression of demonstrations notwithstanding, the Egyptian army continues to receive arms and assistance from the United States.


Afghanistan Faces Slim Chance of Post-Occupation Peace Deal

A new report argues that because of disarray in Washington and decentralization in the Taliban, efforts to broker an agreement between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan ahead of the planned U.S. withdrawal in 2014 are likely to fail.


Pro-Israel Advocates Push for Continued Aid to Egypt

Some neoconservatives and other “pro-Israel” advocates in the United States are insisting that Washington maintain its close ties with the Egyptian military, despite the latter’s involvement in toppling Egypt’s democratically elected Islamist government.


The Meaning of Rouhani

The surprise landside victory of Iranian moderate Hassan Rouhani restored the faith of many Iranians in their electoral system, but it also spoke to disillusion across the political spectrum with the country’s isolated status and stagnant economy.


Kerry’s Last-Ditch Effort As Quixotic As Ever

On the eve of John Kerry’s fifth visit to Israel-Palestine this year, prospects for a two-state solution to the conflict remain dim.


U.S., EU Urged to Press Harder for Reform in Bahrain

Repression of all stripes has increased in Bahrain despite the government’s promises to reform, leaving some U.S. officials frustrated and embarrassed.


Washington Mulls Surprise Rouhani Victory in Iran Vote

While official Washington has greeted the election of Hassan Rouhani—the Iranian moderate slated to become the country’s next president—with cautious optimism, neoconservatives continue to insist that diplomatic progress over Iran’s nuclear program remains unlikely.


US Arms for Syrian Rebels: Bad Choices, Lousy Timing

Some analysts believe that the U.S. decision to arm “moderate” elements of Syria’s opposition forces is more likely to prolong the bloodshed and foster rebel in-fighting than turn the tables against Assad.


Despite Arms Announcement, U.S. Syria Strategy Remains Unclear

Although the Obama administration has couched its decision to arm Syria’s rebels as a response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, it remains unclear how much assistance Washington intends to provide and to what end.


Rice Replaces Donilon as Obama’s Top Foreign Policy Adviser

Susan Rice, President Obama’s new National Security Adviser, and Samantha Power, the administration’s new nominee for UN ambassador, are both firmly committed to the principles of “humanitarian” intervention.


More Sanctions, More Problems

Because lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran requires legislative action that Congress is unlikely to take no matter what steps Iran’s leaders make, analysts say the Iranian regime has less incentive than ever to halt its nuclear enrichment.


Little Support in Washington for Kerry’s Mideast Efforts

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent push to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has received almost no support from Congress, which has largely ignored the issue even as it has drifted to the right.


U.S. Congress Moves Toward Full Trade Embargo on Iran

As the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to back Israel in the event of a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, the House Foreign Affairs Committee moved closer to imposing a full trade embargo on Iran and the countries who trade with it.


Nuclear Iran Unlikely to Tilt Regional Power Balance – Report

A new report by the Rand Corporation argues that while a nuclear-armed Iran might raise tensions among the country’s Sunni neighbors, it would be extremely unlikely to use the weapons offensively or transfer them to proxies.


Framing Iran: Media Coverage Echoes Some Iraq Problems

An examination of media coverage of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program reveals a tendency by mainstream outlets to frame the issue according to the statements of government officials to the exclusion of alternative voices—a trend also observed during the run-up to the Iraq war.


Despite Horrific Repression, the U.S. Should Stay Out of Syria

Syria’s simmering sectarian tensions and increasingly extreme rebel movement make even a large-scale U.S. intervention unlikely to restore stability to the country.


Benghazi, Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy: America’s Broken System

The much-publicized hearings over the Benghazi fiasco have neglected to examine the proper balance of security and flexibility for America’s diplomats—or the limitations of military intervention as a tool for improving security environments.


Nuclear Iran Can Be Contained and Deterred: Report

A report by the Center for a New American Security, a national security think tank close to the Obama administration, argues that the United States has a plethora of viable strategies—including deterrence—to manage the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.


Decade After Iraq, Right-Wing and Liberal Hawks Reunite Over Syria

Ten years after right-wing and liberal hawks came together to push the U.S. into invading Iraq, key members of the two groups appear to be reuniting behind stronger U.S. military intervention in Syria.


Europe Urged to Step into Breach of Failed Mideast Peace

A group of former European leaders is urging the EU to sidestep the stalled U.S.-backed Israeli-Palestinian peace process and take a strong stance against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.


Obama Seen Unlikely to Sharply Escalate Intervention in Syria

The Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons has led to calls for increased U.S. assistance to rebels, but lingering doubts in Washington about intervention means assistance will likely remain limited.


Israel Unlikely to Stay on Syrian Sidelines for Much Longer

Although Israel has thus far appeared reluctant to intervene in Syria’s civil war, some analysts believe that increased Hezbollah activity in the Syrian conflict could eventually draw the Israelis in.


Some Hear Death Knell for a Two-State Solution

John Kerry and the Obama administration have placed renewed attention on the Middle East and Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but some analysts think their efforts are too little and too late .


Washington’s Nuclear Hypocrisy

At the same time that the United States vilifies North Korea and Iran for their nuclear programs, it remains silent about the atomic weapons of its friends.


Kerry’s Mideast Trip Seen as “Going Through the Motions”

Although several Obama administration officials have visited the Middle East in recent months, many analysts believe the administration has given up on negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement with the current Israeli government.


More Diplomacy, Less Pressure Needed for Iran Settlement – Report

Even as ‘pro-Israel’ advocacy groups press for harsher sanctions on Iran, an emerging think tank consensus in Washington emphasizes bolstering diplomatic efforts long neglected because of Congress’s focus on military force and crippling sanctions.


Hunger Strikes Put Guantanamo Back in the Spotlight

A compelling op-ed published by a Guantanamo detainee on hunger strike has helped spur renewed scrutiny of the Obama administration’s failure to close the detention facility.


Libya Intervention More Questionable in Rear View Mirror

The NATO intervention in Libya left behind an unstable state and helped to spread Libyan arms into conflicts throughout the region, but it may have wrought its most consequential damage on great-power relations.


UN Greenlights Long-Awaited Arms Trade Treaty

Over the opposition of a tiny group of recalcitrant states as well as lobbies like the NRA, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve new controls on the international arms trade.


P5+1 Coalition Fraying on Eve of Second Almaty Talks with Iran

Tensions over Syria may undermine the unity of the P5+1 powers as they go back to Kazakhstan to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program.


Iraq, Afghanistan Wars Will Cost U.S. 4-6 Trillion Dollars: Report

Costs to U.S. taxpayers of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will run between four and six trillion dollars, making them the most expensive conflicts in U.S. history.


As Iraq Anniversary Fades, “Strategic Narcissism” Stands out

The fact that major media outlets have invited virtually no Iraqis to comment on the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of the country suggests that Americans remain as uncurious as ever about the world their government so actively intervenes in.


Obama’s Subtle Message To Israel: You’re Not My Top Priority Anymore

The subtext of Obama’s recent trip to Israel suggests that the president has much bigger fish to fry than placating Prime Minister Netanyahu.


Hawks Defend War on Low-Key 10th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion

Most of the U.S. media and foreign policy commentariat opted to overlook the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq—save for the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, which held a low-key event devoted to celebrating the so-called “surge” in 2007.


Ten Years After Iraq War, Neo-Cons Struggle to Hold Republicans

Neoconservatives and like-minded militarists continue to hold sway over the Republican Party’s foreign policy establishment 10 years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but they face a growing insurrection from libertarian deficit hawks.


U.S. Claims No Indefinite Detention at Guantánamo

Despite clear evidence that the United States is holding prisoners without charge or possibility of trial at Guantanamo, an official from the Obama administration’s State Department testified to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that no “indefinite detention” is taking place at the prison.


U.S. “Rebalancing” to Asia/Pacific Still a Priority

Amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and a brewing dispute over Chinese hacking, the Pentagon insists that the Obama administration’s “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region will not be derailed by defense cuts.


U.S. Intelligence Sees Cyber Threats Eclipsing Terrorism

The latest national threat assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies suggests a greater threat to the United States from “cyber threats” and climate change than terrorism or Iran.


AIPAC on the Defensive

While its base remains active and invested, AIPAC is increasingly confronting a political landscape in which its membership seems more out of touch with Americans—Jewish or otherwise—than ever.


U.S. Wasted Billions of Dollars on Iraqi Reconstruction

A report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has concluded that the U.S. wasted billions of dollars rebuilding Iraq by farming projects out to unreliable contractors and failing to account for local needs and circumstances in planning projects.


What Went Right at Almaty

Iran and the P5+1 powers are finally negotiating instead of just talking.


Obama and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: It’s Time to Act

As President Barack Obama travels to Israel and Palestine in the spring, Washington’s unconditional backing of Israel could soon begin to harm U.S. interests and security in Arab Muslim countries.


After Unprecedented Fight, Hagel Confirmed as Obama’s Pentagon Chief

Despite a massive effort by “pro-Israel” neoconservatives to derail his nomination, the Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense.


Former Hostages Call for Broadened Dialogue with Iran

On the eve of renewed P5+1 negotiations in Kazakhstan, at least two former hostages of the U.S. embassy crisis in Iran have called on the United States to engage with more direct dialogue with Iran.


Saudi Arabia Seen Unlikely to Seek Nukes If Iran Gets One

A new report suggests that, due to a combination of factors, countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey would be unlikely to seek nuclear weapons in the event that Iran develops one.


Political Violence Grips Egypt From All Sides

With its frequent and sometimes violent protests, Egypt’s secular opposition may be alienating potential supporters ahead of the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections.


U.S. Urged to Lean Harder on Bahrain’s Ruling Family

An array of policy experts are urging the Obama administration to press the Bahraini royal family to make genuine compromises with the predominantly Shi’a opposition.


Obama Administration Reveals Deep Divisions on Syria Policy

Despite the Obama administration’s apparent skepticism about the wisdom of providing U.S. arms to Syrian rebels, recent reports have indicated support for a more militarized U.S. role among key administration advisers.


Few Hopes for Iran Breakthrough

Many analysts are skeptical that Iran ‘s Supreme Leader is prepared to deal with the West at February’s P5+1 talks in Kazakhstan, even as many in Washington have come to doubt the long-term efficacy of sanctions.


Israeli Activists Invite Palestinian Vote

During the recent Israeli election, a group of Israeli activists called attention to Palestinian statelessness by offering their votes to Palestinians living in the occupied territories.


It’s All About Israel

Israel dominated the Senate hearings on Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary.


Setbacks Push Mideast Peace to Back Burner

Although Obama administration officials have expressed optimism about progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace, experts suspect that the political climates in Washington and Tel Aviv will preclude it.


Israel Votes for More of the Same – And Seeks Change

If reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays true to his political survivalism, he’ll take his coalition toward the center—but to what end?


Landmark U.S. Immigration Framework Heavy on Border Security

Shifting political winds in the United States have brought immigration reform to the forefront of Washington’s agenda, but some observers worry that a right-wing insistence on more robust “border security” could stymie the deal.


Oh, Snap, George Shultz Backs Hagel

A letter backing Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense, signed by 13 former cabinet-level officials from both parties, highlights the marginalization of the beltway neoconservatives who have opposed Hagel’s nomination.


Devil Is in the Details for Iran Nuclear Deal

A letter from seven exiled Iranian parliamentarians urges a nuclear deal between Iran and the West based on Iran’s right to peaceful enrichment.


The viral campaign to set a “red line” for Iran

A video calling for unspecified parties to set a “red line” for Iran’s nuclear program has gone viral thanks to the promotional efforts of right-wing, “pro-Israel” interest groups.


Victory Close to Defeat for Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu has won another term as Israel’s prime minister even as his support base seems more tenuous than ever.


Early Reaction: Winners and Losers in Israel’s 2013 Elections

Israel’s centrist parties gained ground in the country’s recent elections, but it’s unlikely to result in any progress on the stalled peace process.


U.S. Public Supports UNESCO, Despite Funding Cuts

A recent poll reveals widespread U.S. support for various UN agencies—including UNESCO, which the U.S. has withheld its support from ever since the agency agreed to recognize the “state” of Palestine.


Obama to Accelerate Handover to Afghan Army

Hinting at the possibility of a more rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, President Obama announced recently that U.S. forces would shift into a strictly training and support role by the spring, leaving primary security responsibilities to the Afghan army.


Will Chuck Hagel’s Appointment Actually Help the Anti-War Left?

Chuck Hagel is no political progressive, but the former Nebraska senator does have a history of butting heads with neoconservatives, the defense industry, and the Israel lobby.


Obama Nominates Hagel for Pentagon, Brennan for CIA

President Obama’s appointment of Chuck Hagel to head the Pentagon will likely prove contentious, even as his appointment of John Brennan—an architect of the administration’s controversial targeted killing program—will likely proceed unencumbered.


The Mindlessness of War in Afghanistan

One night in 1979, bombs dropped from the sky, killing 16 members of Ismail’s family.


Groups Decry Obama’s Failure to Close Guantanamo

President Obama has again drawn the ire of human rights groups by signing a defense appropriation that restricts his ability to repatriate Guantanamo detainees or transfer them to the U.S. for trial, making it virtually impossible to close the infamous prison.


U.N.‘s Last Stand on Divisive Arms Trade Treaty

In the wake of the Newtown shooting, UN negotiators are gathering for one last push for a strong treaty to regulate international arms sales.


A Third Intifada on the Horizon?

As the Fatah-Hamas rift slowly closes amid backlash from Israel’s recent strikes on Gaza, the stirrings of a third Intifada have begun to emerge in Palestine in the wake of the slaying of an unarmed Palestinian youth.


Neo-Cons, Israel Lobby Mobilize to Pre-empt Obama Pentagon Favorite

Neocons and leaders of the powerful Israel lobby are waging an all-out campaign to pre-empt the nomination by President Barack Obama of an outspoken former Republican senator and decorated Vietnam War hero to replace Leon Panetta as secretary of defense.


Iranian Bomb Graph Appears Adapted from One on Internet

A graph released to the AP by the International Atomic Energy Agency last November, which purportedly suggested that Iran had been researching the power of a nuclear blast, turns out to have been lifted from the Internet.


Rate of U.S., Russian Nuclear Disarmament “Slowing”

The U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals account for over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons—and the post-Cold War rate of disarmament is slowing.


Washington Struggles for Relevance as Assad’s Fall Approaches

Many of the best armed Syrian rebel groups—and therefore the most likely to wield influence in a post-Assad Syria—are Islamists linked to al-Qaeda, with whom the United States refuses to deal.


Syria Opposition Wins International Backing

The Syrian National Coalition—the new Syrian opposition umbrella group—recently won recognition from the more than 100 countries in the “Friends of the Syrian People” coalition, but –wary of their experience in Libya—Western countries still remain hesitant to provide arms.


Attack Brings Renewed Strength for Hamas

An Israeli assault on Gaza has fortified the previously dwindling Palestinian support for Hamas … again.


More Voices Urge Obama to Rein In Netanyahu

In light of the Israeli government’s decision to build thousands of new settlement units in retaliation for the UN vote to upgrade Palestine’s observer status, foreign policy realists are urging Obama to get tough on Netanyahu.


Israel Rains Fire When UN Votes Against It

Whenever the UN chastises Israel, the reaction from the Jewish state is highly predictable: either launch a military strike on Palestinians or announce new settlements in the occupied territories.


Despite Growing Violence, Syrian Political Equation Unchanged

Even as Syria’s rebels advance on Damascus and reorganize their political leadership, the political calculus of the concerned parties remains unchanged.


Thumbs Up for Palestine, Thumb in the Eye for Peace

With its opposition to an elevated diplomatic recognition for Palestine, Netanyahu’s government is signaling its opposition not just to a Palestinian state, but to a negotiated end to the conflict.


Amidst Turmoil, Nuke-Free Mideast Conference Derailed

A conference to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East has been derailed, with the United States arguing that the talks should only go forward if Israel—the region’s only nuclear power—isn’t “singled out.”


Avoiding the Slippery Slope to War with Iran

Beneath the hawkish bluster on Capitol Hill, many observers and seasoned security officials see peaceful negotiations—followed by containment, if necessary—as the optimal way forward for the U.S. relationship with Iran.


Israel Ranked World’s Most Militarised Nation

The concentration of so many Middle Eastern states—led by Israel—at the top of the Global Militarization Index underscores the degree to which the region has become a powder keg.


Hamas Military Chief Killed in Israeli Attack

A fresh wave of Israeli strikes on Gaza has opened up with the assassination of Ahmad Jabari, the Hamas military leader who had previously been an Israeli negotiating partner.


Syrian Opposition Rebrands as Rebels Advance

Syrian opposition groups have organized under a new umbrella in an effort to appease foreign benefactors.


Unfinished Business Awaits Obama’s Second Term

A former CIA officer says it’s time for the Obama administration to stop turning a blind eye to atrocities in the Middle East.


Netanyahu’s 2010 Order Was Not a Move to War on Iran

Reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military to prepare for a strike on Iran in 2010 largely misunderstand the nature of the order—and conceal the fact that no parties to the discussion ever thought Israel had a realistic military option in Iran.


U.S.: Greater Middle East Dominates the Last Debate

The Middle East stole the show at the last debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.


50th Anniversary of Cuban Missile Crisis Offers Lessons for Iran

The popular memory of the Cuban missile crisis—one in which the United States simply forced the Soviets to back down under threat of war—is both incorrect and disastrous as a guide for contemporary policy.


U.S.: Greater Middle East Dominates the Last Debate

The Middle East stole the show at the last debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.


Egypt and U.S. Step Past Crisis

Despite renewed tensions in U.S.-Egyptian relations—marked by what Washington regarded as tacit Muslim Brotherhood support for boisterous protests outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, as well as President Obama’s off-hand remark that Egypt was not a U.S. “ally”—regional analysts see the two countries continuing to enjoy friendly, if increasingly complex, relations.


Israel’s Hypocrisy on a Nuclear Middle East

When the Israeli Prime Minister stood before the UN General Assembly and called for action against Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program—complete with a cartoonish graphic of a bomb with a lit fuse—he mentioned neither his own country’s sizable nuclear arsenal nor its persistent refusal to ratify the Non-Proliferation Treaty.


Nobel Laureate Calls for Armed Intervention in Nigeria

On the International Day of Peace, Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka visited the United Nations—and called for armed intervention against the terrorist group Boko Haram in his home country of Nigeria.


U.N. Chief Jabs Media for Overblown Coverage of Hate Crimes

In the wake of an International Day of Peace marred by reports of violent riots from across the Islamic world, UN officials are calling on the international media not to amplify inflammatory hate speech.


U.S. to Take Iran Anti-Regime Group Off Terrorism List

In a move certain to ratchet up already high tensions with Iran, the Obama administration has announced that it will remove the MEK from the State Department’s terrorism list.


Amid Tension in Islamic World, U.N. Chief Pleads for Harmony

Against a backdrop of international conflict and turmoil in the Middle East, UN officials are pleading for new investments in peacebuilding, a rollback in military spending, and a more democratic United Nations.


U.S., Israeli Attacks Unlikely to Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Programme

A new report by a bipartisan cast of former military and intelligence officials argues authoritatively that a U.S. or Israeli strike on alleged Iranian nuclear facilities—to say nothing of a full-fledged campaign for regime change—would be counterproductive and dangerous.


Islamists Threaten Libya’s Future

The killing of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens comes in the wake of a new threat of Islamic fundamentalism that has rocked Libya over the last few weeks.


U.S. Public Satisfied With Less Militarised Global Role

Disillusioned by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. public is becoming increasingly comfortable with a more modest and less militarised global role for the nation.


Libyan Weapons Arming Regional Conflicts

Black-market weapons from Libya’s civil war are turning up from Nigeria to Syria as former fighters look to capitalize on the Libyan state’s inability to control the flow of arms.


Israelis Brace Dubiously for War With Iran

Many Israelis don’t seem to believe that war with Iran is inevitable—but they’re picking up gas masks just in case.


In Israel, Opposition to Attacking Iran Gains Upper Hand

Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak appear more isolated than ever within Israel in their support for a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran.


Washington’s War Drums Drown out Opportunities for Peace in Syria

Armed insurrection is not the only way to bring down the Assad regime, and the strengthening of armed groups directly undermines alternative methods of resolution to the conflict.


Q&A: U.S. Should Encourage NATO-Led Assistance to Syrian Opposition

One former CIA agent believes that NATO, via Turkey, should provide arms and a safe haven for the armed Syrian opposition.


Israel’s Iran War Talk Aims at Deal for Tougher U.S. Policy

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is ratcheting up the threat of a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran to badger the Obama administration into shifting its own “red lines.”


U.S. Denies Consensus with Israel on Iran Nuclear Threat

The United States is pushing back against a controversial claim by the Israeli Defense Minister that the U.S. now believes Iran is close to building a nuclear weapon.


High-Level Defections, Escalating Violence Mark New Phase of Syrian Uprising

High-ranking officials have begun to defect from the Syrian regime in record numbers, although the opposition remains fragmented and has increasingly incorporated extremist elements.


TURKEY: Caught Between Syria’s Kurds and a Hard Spot

Recent gains by rebellious Syrian Kurds have unnerved the Turkish government and media.


Israeli Group Maps Palestinian Removals

One right-wing Israeli group has taken it upon itself to map Palestinian villages in the West Bank—with the aim of rooting them out.


Governments Boost Nukes While Cutting Aid and Social Services

As the international community attempts to redirect spending from nuclear-weapons programs to development, at least nine UN member states—led by the United States—continue to boost their spending on nuclear stockpiles.


Obama Pressed on Syrian End-Game

With the Assad regime showing new vulnerability, neoconservatives and other hawks are pressuring the Obama administration to ramp up U.S. involvement in Syria.


Right-Wing Hawks, Arms Industry Rally Against Pentagon Cuts

Neoconservative think tanks have joined the U.S. defense industry to lobby against defense cuts by sequestration.


Netanyahu – Unlike Olmert – Refuses Explicit Iran Attack Threat

The government of Benjamin Netanyahu enjoys a hawkish reputation, but both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been careful to avoid publicly making explicit threats to Iran.


Key Syrian Defection Heartens U.S.

The defection of a key Sunni backer of the Assad regime is a major blow to Syria’s ruling party, but it could also foreshadow the sectarian conflict to come.


Israel Divestment Campaigns Gain Momentum in U.S.

The U.S. Presbyterian Church’s debate over divesting from Caterpillar, a construction supply corporation that profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestine, shows considerable momentum for the BDS movement, opening up rifts between some Church members and pro-Israel allies.


New U.S.-Pakistani Supply Accord Seen as Tenuous

Pakistan has reopened its border for NATO supply routes into Afghanistan in exchange for a U.S. apology for killing Pakistani soldiers last November. Experts warn that the rapprochement could be short-lived.


New Israeli Deputy PM Undercuts Strategy of Pressure on Obama

The man who helped build Netanyahu’s “war cabinet” sounds skeptical about an Israeli strike on Iran and has shifted the emphasis of Israeli security concerns from Iran to Palestine.


U.S. Hawks Aflutter as Clinton Clears China on Iran Oil Sales

Neoconservatives are looking to ramp up sanctions on Iran—and to make sure they hit China.


Israelis Grapple with an Unfinished War

Israel’s 1982 war with Lebanon never really ended.


Obama Resists Growing Pressure to Intervene in Syria

Neoconservatives and other U.S. hawks are mounting pressure on the Obama administration to intervene in Syria, but so far the administration has remained committed to largely diplomatic measures.


Setbacks for Congressional Iran Hawks

Hawks in the U.S. Congress are finding it difficult to ratchet up the U.S. military threat against Iran.


Tea Party Loses in Fight with Big Business

The battle over the future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has been a humbling experience for the Tea Party.


Arab Autocrats Aiding Resurgence of Terrorism

Arab autocrats in Syria, Bahrain, and elsewhere are indirectly contributing to the resurgence of terrorism in their societies.


America the Serial Killer

With its expanded drone program, the Obama administration has encouraged the view of a America as serial killer who keeps suffering from blowback.


Bullying, Leadership, and the Presidency of the United States

The 1965 bullying incident at Michigan’s elite Cranbrook School that came to light this week has kicked off a series of conversations about bullying and about the extent to which we should hold our nation’s leaders accountable for past behavior.


US Should Forge “New Partnership” With Turkey, Report Says

A new report by the influential Council on Foreign Relations urges Washington to develop a stronger strategic partnership with Turkey.


U.S. Escalating Drone War in Yemen

As it slowly extracts ground troops from Afghanistan, the Obama administration is escalating the drone war in Yemen.


Debating Syria

Is diplomacy really dead in Syria, or has it even been given a chance?


New Steps by Obama to Curb Atrocities in Syria, Elsewhere

The Obama administration’s new “Atrocities Prevention Board” has drawn bipartisan praise, but some critics worry that it institutionalizes the policy priorities of liberal hawks.


U.S.-Israel Deal to Demand Qom Closure Threatens Nuclear Talks

The inclusion of an Israeli and western demand that Iran close its Fordow nuclear facility could be a “poison pill” designed to tank the latest round of P5+1 negotiations.


White House Expresses Growing Concern Over Bahrain

Long silent about government abuses in Bahrain, the Obama administration has lately responded to pressures to cajole the Gulf monarchy over its treatment of a hunger-striking political prisoner.


The United States as Number Two

Though slow to assert itself internationally, China is already surpassing the United States as the world’s preeminent economic power.


The Foreign Policy President?

During his first term in office, President Obama’s foreign policies fell far short of meeting the hopes of progressives, but it was also a far cry from RomneyWorld.


Strong Majority of U.S. Jews Likely to Stick with Obama

Despite an aggressive push by Republicans and neoconservatives to pry Jewish voters from the Obama camp, American Jews are largely sticking with the Democratic president over his Republican rivals.


Ahead of Revived Talks, U.S. Wavers: Diplomacy or Sanctions for Iran?

Even as negotiations are slated to resume between Iran and the West, hawks in the U.S. Congress are ramping up pressure for new sanctions and punitive measures against Iran.


Pro-Peace Jewish Lobby Stresses Return to Stalled Talks

Despite criticism over its inclusion of former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, J Street’s third annual conference featured several prominent voices for peace who pushed renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.


Poll Shows Little U.S. Support for Syria Intervention

Despite an aggressive push by neoconservative groups and hawks in Congress, the American public simply doesn’t support U.S. intervention in Syria.


Little U.S. Popular Support for Israeli Attack on Iran

Americans may sympathize with Israel’s quandary over Iran, but there’s little public support for getting the United States involved.


Amid Escalating Israel-Iran Tensions, a Glimmer of Hope?

Although Israel and its U.S. backers are pushing for action to stop Iran’s nuclear enrichment, the Obama administration is giving negotiations and sanctions more time—and the Iranians may be coming around.


Renewed Push in U.S. to Arm Syrian Rebels

Neoconservatives and their allies in Congress have strengthened their calls to arm Syrian opposition groups, despite the fact that such a move would likely create more problems than it solves.


Israeli Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Facilities Easier Said Than Done

The technical hurdles to an Israeli strike on Iran are higher than usually claimed.


While Israel Blames Iran for India, Georgia Bombings, U.S. More Reserved

Israel and many of its U.S. backers have blamed Iran for the attacks on Israeli diplomats in New Delhi and Tbilisi. But the U.S. government isn’t so sure.


A Global Empire, Yet a “United States of Fear”

A new book by Tom Engelhardt argues that the United States’ domestic woes are not isolated challenges but part of a broader imperial decline, hastened by a culture of militarism and foreign policy overreach.


Early End to U.S. Combat Role in Afghanistan Draws Cheers, Jeers, Confusion

Leon Panetta’s surprise announcement that U.S. troops will phase out their combat role in Afghanistan by mid-2013 is drawing mixed reactions, as well as a fair bit of confusion, from both critics and supporters of the 11-year-old war.


Worries Mount over Blowback of Israeli Attack on Iran

U.S. policymakers worry that Israel might attack Iran without giving prior warning to Washington.


Iran’s Relations with Latin America Less Than Meets the Eye

In contrast to assertions from U.S. policymakers about a Persian menace emerging in the American neighborhood, Iran has only weak and superficial ties to Latin America.


Egypt Follows Israel, Eyeing U.S. Aid without Pre-Conditions

Egypt and Israel may be at a crossroads in their relations, but each is violating the terms of its U.S. military assistance.


The Apocalyptics

Dress them up in black, put some Goth makeup on them, give them a name like The Apocalyptics, and the GOP candidates for president would fit right in with the head-banger crowd.


Less Counter-Insurgency, More Asia in New U.S. Strategy

President Obama’s “strategic shift” from counter-insurgency in the Middle East to force projection in the Asia-Pacific has frustrated hawks and doves alike.


Anti-Neo-Con Candidate Getting Serious Look

Perhaps at the expense of his more eccentric domestic political views, Ron Paul’s anti-interventionist foreign policy has attracted considerable interest from left and right alike.


“Arab Spring” Dominated TV Foreign News in 2011

The U.S. network news giants paid more attention to foreign affairs in 2011 than usual, but gaps in coverage remained.


U.S., Iran Both Squandered Opportunities for Détente

A new book by analyzes the Obama administration’s truncated attempt to engage Iran, documenting failures by both sides to break the present impasse.


Mass Tragedy Feared as Closure of MEK Camp Looms

U.S. officials fear that unless the MEK’s leaders approve of vacating their camp north of Baghdad, the residents could face violent raids from Iraqi forces or commit mass suicide.


Foreign Aid Spared Massive Cuts in 2012

Although Congress spared foreign aid the massive cuts favored by the GOP-led House, aid spending continues to pale beside Pentagon appropriations.


Iraq Intervention Ends with Scarcely a Whimper

The United States marked the formal end of its unpopular eight-and-a-half year war in Iraq with little fanfare.


Military Option Recedes amid Tug-of-War over Iran Policy

The Obama administration hasn’t shied away from confrontation with Iran, but some administration officials are resisting pressure from Congress to escalate the situation further.


Civil War Looms as Syrian Protests Grow Increasingly Complex

As the West ramps up its engagement with Syrian opposition figures, the behavior of armed opposition groups inside the country increasingly resembles that of the Assad regime.


“Israel’s Advocate” to Leave White House for Pro-Israel Think Tank

Dennis Ross, one of the Obama administration’s most pro-Israel Middle East advisers, is leaving his post to return to the neoconservative-linked WINEP.


Calls for New Sanctions, Air Strikes Follow IAEA Report

Hawks in Israel, Western Europe, and the U.S. Congress have Iran in their crosshairs since the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran may be developing a nuclear weapon.


“Who Lost Iraq” Debate Fails to Get Traction

Iraq war hawks have launched broadsides against the Obama administration for allowing the U.S. role in the conflict to wind down, but no one seems to be listening.


U.S. Halts UNESCO Funding after Palestinian Vote

The Obama administration announced that it would immediately cut U.S. funding for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, just hours after UNESCO’s governing board voted to grant Palestine full membership.


Obama Confirms Full Withdrawal by Christmas

President Obama has confirmed his commitment to ending the U.S. troop presence in Iraq on schedule—much to the chagrin of some right-wing writers and politicians.


U.S. May Have Concealed Deterrent Aim of Iranian Plot

If the alleged Iran plot to assassinate the Saudi U.S. ambassador is genuine, it may have been part of a surveillance operation to identify potential targets in the case of a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran.


As 2012 Polls Loom, Caution’s the Word for Obama’s Foreign Policy

With key al-Qaeda figures dead and Iran under harsh sanctions, Obama seems unlikely to rock the boat on foreign policy in advance of the 2012 elections.


U.S. Hawks Behind Iraq War Rally for Strikes Against Iran

Familiar Iraq war boosters have seized on the alleged Iranian plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States to push for war with Iran.


Alleged Plot Weakens Claims of Iran’s Sway in Latin America

Iran’s alleged effort to have a used-car salesman from Texas contract Mexican narcos for an assassination attempt casts doubt on the claims by some hawks that Iranian influence in Latin America represents a threat to the United States.


Iranians Charged in Alleged Plot to Kill Saudi Envoy

Advocates of regime change in Tehran are embracing the bizarre story of an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.


U.S. Republican Frontrunner Touts Neoconservative Foreign Policy

Mitt Romney’s first major foreign policy address was light on specifics, but heavy on American exceptionalism and neoconservative talking points.


Al-Awlaki Killing Gets Mixed Reviews

While the Obama administration has celebrated the killing of Al-Qaeda militant and U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, the reaction among human rights groups and Yemen specialists has been far more critical.


Politics Throws Palestine under the Bus

Right-wing “pro-Israel” advocates have apparently convinced President Obama that his Jewish support depends on his own support for the Netanyahu government.


Defying U.S., Palestine Seeks U.N. Recognition for Statehood

UN delegates from the United States and Israel were noticeably quiet as the rest of the General Assembly rapturously applauded.


Iraq Intelligence Failures Cast Shadow Over Iran Assessment

A new report from the Atlantic Council evaluates the reliability of intelligence about Iran’s nuclear program.


Familiar Hawks Press Obama on Iraq Withdrawal

Led by the Foreign Policy Initiative, a coterie of Iraq war hawks has sent a letter to President Obama urging a longer U.S. commitment in Iraq. Many of the signatories also signed a letter sent 10 years ago by FPI’s predecessor, the Project for the New American Century, promoting regime change in Baghdad.


Hawks Fret over U.S. Withdrawal

Regardless of the political consequences, critics of the Obama administration advocate pressuring the Iraqi government to accept more U.S. troops after the negotiated U.S. withdrawal date.


Did 9/11 Make Peace Passé?

The word “peace” has such a negative reputation inside the Beltway that the U.S. Institute of Peace, which saw Congress nearly ax all its funding over the summer, is now considering a name change.


Ten Years Later, Still Equating Terrorism with Islam

Even 10 years after 9/11, American Muslims continue to face discrimination, suspicion, and profiling.


Did Al Qaeda Succeed in Ending “the American Century”?

A decade after its devastating attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, Al Qaeda appears to have largely succeeded in its hopes of accelerating the decline of U.S. global power.


US, EU Call for Assad’s Ouster

Barack Obama for the first time said “the time has come” for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down on August 18th, a stance seconded by European allies.


Int’l Pressure Mounts as Syrian Crackdown Grows More Violent

The international chorus against Bashar al-Assad has steadily grown as Syria’s Ramadan crackdown on anti-government protesters escalates.


US Nuclear Arsenal Holds Fast to Status Quo

Barack Obama’s push for nuclear disarmament has slowed considerably since the ratification of New START, and the United States is nowhere close to eliminating its nuclear arsenal.


US Moves Closer to Call for Regime Change

Syria has escalated its violence against anti-regime protesters, prompting the Obama administration to inch closer to calling for Bashar al-Assad’s ouster.


Military Hawks Upset with Debt Deal

Proposed defense cuts in the deal to raise the debt ceiling have caused neoconservatives to lambast the agreement.


US Islamophobes Distance Themselves from Norway Killings

Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s numerous citations of right-wing Islamophobes in his manifesto have prompted furious denials of culpability from prominent neoconservatives.


US Hardens Tone Against Assad

Washington is responding to the violent crackdown on Syrian protests continues with ever harsher rhetoric.


The Realist Who Moved Washington Closer to Reality

Robert Gates left the Pentagon as one of most important Defense secretaries in decades.


Diplomatic Wounds Leave Half-Healed Scars

Turkey and Israel are close to resolving their dispute over last year’s flotilla fiasco, but the partnership that existed between them for more than a decade will almost certainly stay submerged.


Obama Takes the Centrist Option on Withdrawal

By announcing a small troop drawdown, but refraining to set a deadline for full troop withdrawal, Barack Obama is trying to stake out a middle ground in the Afghan war debate.


Kerry, McCain Come to Obama’s Rescue Over Libya

In the face of growing congressional criticism over the legal basis for the Libyan War, Barack Obama received a lifeline from two Senate allies: John Kerry and John McCain.


Obama Leaves Door Open to Long-Term US Afghan Combat

Despite Barack Obama’s announcement of a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, the reality is that U.S. troops are far from coming home.


Neoconservatives Losing Hold Over Republican Foreign Policy

Neoconservative dominance of Republican Party foreign policy trends is steadily waning, with leading 2012 candidates expressing doubt about U.S. military engagements abroad and massive majorities of Republican voters turning their backs on the Bush-era “Freedom Agenda.”


Obama’s Claim of Libya War Powers Widely Disputed

The U.S. intervention in Libya has passed its 90th day, prompting Congress to angrily claim President Obama is not complying with the 1973 War Powers Act.


Debate Rages over US Withdrawal

With the war in Afghanistan showing no great signs of progress, the debate on Capitol Hill is shifting ever so slightly toward a faster withdrawal.


Pakistan: U.S. Development Aid v. Military Intervention

Aid to Pakistan is under threat from both Congress and the public, but it would be smarter to reform the U.S. package than end it.


Rifts Appear as Syrian Opposition Struggles to Maintain Momentum

The Syrian opposition remains unsure of the way forward in the wake of brutal state oppression, but events like the murdering of 13-year-old Hamzah Ali Alkhateeb will ensure that the struggle will not end soon.


U.S. Uses Peace Talks to Divide Taliban from Pakistan

U.S. hints at peace talks with the Taliban are designed to isolate the group from its Pakistani patron—but as long as western troops occupy Afghanistan, negotiations are unlikely.


US Veto Could Derail Palestine as New U.N. Member State

The United States, in the face of global opposition, looks likely to veto a possible UN resolution recognizing Palestine as an independent country.


House Votes Suggest Growing War Weariness

A slate of measures recently voted on in Congress reflect growing war weariness among elected officials and the U.S. public.


Netanyahu Conditions Denounced as “War” by Palestinians

Benjamin Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech demonstrates that he is not interested in a fair peace with Palestine.


Obama: Surrendered Wife?

For some people, there’s nothing President Obama can do to prove his love for Israel.


Obama Troop Surge Decision Ignored Pak-Taliban Ties

President Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan has not fully come to terms with the fact that Pakistan is loathe to give up its ties with the Taliban and Haqqani Network — groups that just so happen make up the Afghan insurgency.


Obama Peace Vision Sparks New Disputes

In his Middle East speech, Barack Obama offered policy prescriptions that largely toed the Israeli line, making Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aggressive reaction all the more stultifying.


Within the Arab Left, Contradictions Emerge Over Syria

The Arab Spring has been a cause for celebration for the Arab Left, but regional considerations have impacted its view of the unfolding struggle in Syria.


Expectations Build for Obama Mideast Policy Speech

Barack Obama’s planned address this week on Middle Eastern policy will be a harbinger of the administration’s future approach to the region.


Bin Laden Coup Could Mark New Beginning for Obama

In one swoop, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden could revolutionize the perception of Barack Obama’s foreign policy image.


Gunfight at Abbottabad: Dismantling the Myth of an American Hero

The official story of Osama bin Laden’s death is only a legend, but those involved have been none too quick to correct the myths.


After Bin Laden Hit, U.S. Aides Raise Dubious Hopes for Peace

U.S. officials expecting to use Osama bin Laden’s death as impetus for peace talks in Afghanistan are oblivious to the most crucial factor—that the presence of thousands of U.S. troops in the country will never be tolerated by the Taliban.


Pakistan in Deep Turmoil

In the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s killing, the Pakistani government finds itself under both domestic and foreign pressure.


Osama Death May Splinter Militants Further

Osama bin Laden’s death will have a spillover effect in anti-terror efforts, as jihadist groups in northwest Pakistan compete for influence and attention.


Bin Laden’s Killing Could Alter Af-Pak, Other Policies

Osama bin Laden’s death has been hailed as a victory in the “war on terror,” but it is likely to raise as many questions as it answers about U.S. military plans in the region.


Washington Failing to Understand Iran’s Opposition

The Arab Spring is spurring some neoconservatives to dust off their theories about how Iran’s “Green Movement” would benefit from U.S. military action against Iran, despite the fact that rights leaders in Iran argue that armed intervention would merely play into the regime’s hands.


Break the Silence in the UAE

As the silent response to certain locales of the Arab Spring shows, states and businesses have a history of divorcing their espoused lofty ends from the actions. In the Gulf states, this stance props up the political and economic interests of “friendly” dictatorships and undermines the interests of the people.


The Undead Chicken

The United States has shaped its policy toward the evolving situation in the Middle East according to the Chinese proverb of “killing the chicken to scare the monkey.”


Arab Spring Stalls as U.S. Defers to Saudi ‘Counter-revolution’

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, seemingly encouraged by Washington acquiescence, push back against Arab Spring movements as part of a regional proxy war with Iran.


U.S. Denies It Is Trying to Undermine Assad

Bashar al-Assad’s government struggles to cope with growing protests as the State Department denies any involvement in the unrest, despite reports of it providing millions of dollars to the Syrian opposition in the last five years.


U.S. ‘Democracy’ Advisors Suddenly in Demand

With the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia toppled and rebellions raging from Libya to Yemen, U.S. officials and NGOs dedicated to democracy promotion in the Middle East face unprecedented opportunities — but also new questions about the U.S. role.


Israel Hits Roadblock Over Dismissal of War Crimes Charges

Israel has gone on the offensive after Richard Goldstone admitted “regret” over parts of the UN-report investigating Israel’s War on Gaza that carried his name — but critics charge that Israel is overplaying Goldstone’s comments.


Libya Splitting Republicans in 1990s Redux

In a replay of the infighting among Republicans over U.S. military interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s, U.S. involvement in the civil war in Libya is exposing serious splits among self-described conservatives.


Maliki’s Doubts Threaten Post-2011 Troop Presence Plan

President Obama’s plan to station U.S. combat troops in Iraq beyond 2011 is threatened by developments in both Iraq and elsewhere in the region.


Turkey’s ‘neo-Gaullism’

Turkey has endeavored to make itself a central player in the unfolding Middle East upheaval, leading one observer to comment that the country is displaying a “new self-confidence bordering on hubris.”


Arab Uprising as a War on Terror

The flame lit by Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation last December 17 has also engulfed some myths about the region and beyond, which will have a profound impact on the domestic and foreign policies of the new governments that emerge from the ongoing upheaval.


Neocons Target Assad Regime

Despite opposition from the Obama administration and the apparent ambivalence on the part of Israel’s right-wing government, neoconservatives are pushing to have Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be the next domino to fall in the “Arab Spring.”


Obama Doctrine of Multilateralism on the Line in Libya

Does President Obama’s cautious, limited approach to intervention in Libya augur a new U.S. role in world affairs?


Time for Intervention Running Out

With Libyan forces seeming to have the upper hand, time is running out on whether and when the United States, NATO or the UN should intervene militarily in the conflict.


US Edges Towards Rebel Recognition

While neoconservatives in the U.S. are itching to get into the fight against Gaddafi, the United States and its European allies are first focused on non-military support for the Libyan insurgency.


Critics Condemn Islam Hearings as Witch Hunts

Controversial hearings on extremist Islam in the United States, spearheaded by Homeland Security chair Rep. Peter King, are raising red flags among Muslim-Americans, civil rights groups, and within the Obama administration as well.


Israel Grows Ever-Harsher in Treatment of Migrants

Israel’s growing migrant population has spurred the rightwing Likud government to pursue increasingly harsh detention and deportation policies, which could further complicate the country’s relationships with its neighbors and the international community.


“New Egypt” the Wild Card in Stalled Mideast Peace Process

The possibility of finding a solution to the “Palestinian question” hinges in part on how Israel and Egypt respond to the changed regional dynamics, according to a recent panel of experts.


Pressure on Obama to Push Regime Change in Libya

Republican Party-aligned hawks and some administration allies have applied increasing pressure on the President Obama to push for regime change in Libya.


Dead Peace Process Could be “National Suicide” for Israel

The United States will once again block a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli expansion into the Occupied Territories, despite growing global opposition to the settlements.


As Talks Stall with Iran, US Steps Up Propaganda War

Events in Egypt have spurred the U.S. to step up its rhetoric on Iran, calling the Iranian government “hypocritical” for praising the Arab revolts while crushing its own.


US Faces New Test Over State Violence

The Obama administration now must add Bahrain to its political balancing act as it copes with unprecedented turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East.


The Brotherhood Bogeyman

While the Muslim Brotherhood claims it is the victim of lies and distortions, policymakers aligned with the “Israel lobby” want the organization excluded from any role in Egypt’s future.


Gap Widens Between US and Arab World

Growing Arab demands for an end to autocratic rule and U.S. regional hegemony have led to calls for a complete reassessment of U.S. policy in the region.


Bush’s Democracy Sage Offers Obama Advice

The Likud Party star, Natan Sharansky, warns that if the United States continues to support the Mubarak regime it could bolster the standing of the Muslim Brotherhood.


The Fox Guarding the Henhouse

The extraordinary events of January 2011 in Egypt should prove one point for good: Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, U.S. presidents wish their favored Arab states would forever remain nice, docile autocracies.


Two Cheers for the Brotherhood

Can the Muslim Brotherhood be a partner in a democratic Egypt? Not according to neoconservatives and other Middle East hawks. But the trajectory and recent history of the organization tell a more nuanced tale.


Obama Riding a Mideast Tiger

The Obama administration is scrambling to confront an unprecedented number of challenges across the Arab world.


Palestine Papers Cause Heartburn in Washington

The exposure of a huge cache of documents detailing Palestinian accounts of a decade of peace negotiations with Israel could deal a lethal blow to the peace process.


Glimmer of Hope on Eve of New Iran Nuclear Talks

Some observers are optimistic that the P5+1 talks in Istanbul on Iran’s nuclear program could help ease tensions.


Former Diplomats Urge US not to Veto UN Anti-Settlement Resolution

Arguing that U.S. credibility in the Mideast is on the line, some four dozen former top U.S. officials have urged President Obama not to veto a proposed UN Security Council resolution on the illegality of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories.


Defense Contractors Insulated from Budget Cuts

Defense contractors will not feel the pinch in the recently announced military spending reductions.


Pressure Mounts on Security Council to Rein in Israel

As Israel continues to build new settlements in Palestinian territories, there’s growing international pressure for the UN and the U.S. to take action.


Wikileak Cables Reveal China’s Modernizing Military Might

Days ahead of a highly anticipated summit between China and the United States, much attention is being given to leaked cables that discuss China’s trajectory as a sophisticated military power.


Sanctions Forced Iran to Slash Bloated Energy Subsidies

Economic sanctions may have slowed Iran’s nuclear development, but the republic’s decision to cut subsidies on basic commodities appears to have mostly cut consumption and not ignited popular protest.


Lebanese Government Collapse Adds to Obama Problems

The collapse of the Hariri-led government in Lebanon adds to the list of policy challenges the U.S. faces across the Middle East.


Disappointment May Yield to Distrust in Latin America

Two years into the Obama administration, Latin Americans have seen little change in inter-hemispheric relations with the U.S., and expect more disappointment with the new Republican-led Congress.


Weekly Standard, Rove Make The Case For Israel-Al Qaeda Linkage

The Weekly Standard and former Bush advisor Karl Rove have been pushing the argument that Guantanamo is not motivating terrorist groups, and in the process bolstering the case that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most important recruitment tool of Al Qaeda and presumably other violent Islamist groups.


How Afghanistan Became a War for NATO

The war in Afghanistan has been touted as a vital to countries across the globe, but NATO seems to have taken on the lead role in the campaign there mainly in order to help justify its own existence.


US Pakistani Ambassador Unknowingly Hosted Neocon Fundraiser

A neoconservative think tank appears to have held a fundraiser at the residence of Pakistan’s ambassador without telling the hosts that the dinner was billed as part of conference on “Countering the Iranian Threat.”


US to Transfer Nuclear Material to Israel

The Obama administration’s decision to transfer nuclear fuel to Israel represents an end run around the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the same treaty the United States and other countries accuse Iran of violating in developing its nuclear program.


US Readies New Sanctions on Iran Ahead of Talks

The Obama administration is preparing a new batch of sanctions against Iran to be announced in advance of upcoming nuclear talks in Turkey.


Mideast Peace Key to Countering Iran, Arabs Told US Diplomats

Although U.S. neoconservatives and their right-wing Israeli counterparts have touted the Wikileaks dump as showing that Arab governments no longer think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to regional peace, the documents themselves tell a very different story.


Cables Belie Gulf States’ Backing for Strikes on Iran

A careful reading of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables reveals that, contrary to the mainstream media’s portrayal of the documents, most Gulf Arab regimes are seriously concerned about the consequences of a strike against Iran.


Time Runs Short for Progress on Iran Nuke Talks

The first meeting between Iran and the world’s major powers in more than a year ended with little to show apart from a vague promise to meet again next month in Turkey.


Obama Pushes START Treaty to Top of Legislative Agenda

With time running out before he faces a much more hostile and Republican Congress, President Obama seems to have made ratification of the new START Treaty with Russia his top legislative priority, despite considerable push back from hardline neoconservatives and far-right Republicans.


Report Urges Enhanced Maritime Security in West Africa

Despite Washington’s Mideast focused “war on terror” and renewed interest in East Asia, there is increasing pressure to move West Africa up the ladder of foreign policy priorities.


No Top Secrets, but Damaging Nonetheless

The dump of U.S. diplomatic cables reveals few deep secrets but may bury diplomatic trust in the short run.


Wikileaks Reveals Treacherous Terrain for Iran Policy

Leaked diplomatic cables reveal hazardous playing field for U.S. policy towards Iran and other regional actors.


Hawks, Doves Aflutter Over Pyongyang’s Latest Moves

North Korea has propelled itself to the top of an already over-crowded U.S. overseas agenda with news that is has built a state-of-the-art facility capable of enriching uranium to weapons grade, followed by its bombardment of a South Korean island.


Iran Laptop Papers Show Wrong Warhead

Key evidence used to argue Iran had a covert nuclear weapons R&D program is found to depict a reentry vehicle design abandoned by Iranian officials.


Pentagon Exempt from Budget Cuts?

Influential Republican Party figures are pushing back against efforts to target the Pentagon budget for cuts.


Study Group Urges “Strategic Engagement” with Iran

A new study by two centrist think tanks urges the Obama administration to pursue a policy of “strategic engagement” with Iran that would offer Tehran more attractive incentives to curb its nuclear program.


START Supporters Play Iran Card

The Obama administration is trying to sell the new START to Republicans by arguing that failure to ratify the treaty would weaken efforts to apply collective international pressure on Iran’s nuclear program.


Obama Scrambles to Save Foreign Policy Agenda

Calls to block the new START Treaty reveal the challenges confronting President Obama in gaining any support from Republicans on foreign policy during the remainder of his term.


Netanyahu Pounds War Drums

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent call for the United States to “create a credible threat of military action” suggests his right-wing government and its allies in Washington are preparing to escalate pressure on President Obama to adopt a more confrontational stance with Tehran.


A Progressive – Tea Party Foreign Policy Coalition? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Speculation about Tea Partiers cooperating with progressives on foreign policy is interesting but ultimately unconvincing.


Obama Foreign Policy Likely to Face Republican Challenges

While foreign policy issues played almost no role in last Tuesday’s election results, the historic Republican landslide will almost certainly make President Obama’s vision of a more positive U.S. role in international affairs more difficult to pursue.


What Did WikiLeaks Really Tell Us about Iran?

The evidence used by hawks from the recent Wikileaks documents dump to push for attacking Iran isn’t all that it seems.


Wikileaks Doc Reveals US War Failure

The newly released Wikileaks document on Iraq provides fresh evidence that the U.S. war against Shi’a militias in 2007-2008 was a futile exercise.


US Military Aid Far Outpaces Democracy Assistance in Central Asia

To service the war the Afghanistan, the Obama administration has provided six times more on military aid for the mostly authoritarian states of Central Asia than on efforts to promote political liberalization and human rights.


US Jews Increasingly Hawkish on Iran, Skeptical of Obama

American Jewish support of President Obama’s performance may be on the wane while their attitudes towards Iran may be growing more hawkish, according to a recent poll conducted by the American Jewish Committee of 800 self-identified Jews.


Nine Years in, Afghans Don’t Trust US

A new independent report calls into doubt whether recent U.S. moves aimed at reducing civilian casualties in Afghanistan have succeeded in overcoming the population’s perception of Western indifference and malevolence.


Will Renewed US-China Military Ties Relax Regional Tensions?

A month-long effort to restore military-to-military ties between Washington and Beijing seems to have paid off as Pentagon chief Robert Gates is set to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Liang Guanglie, in Vietnam this week.


Senate Urges Pentagon to Rein in Afghan Contractors

According to a recent Senate Armed Services Committee report, failures in vetting, training, and supervising private security contractors are putting coalition troops and Afghan civilians at risk.


Obama Trying to Keep Peace Talks Alive

With Israeli-Palestinian tensions rising and the peace process faltering, the Obama administration has made a controversial offer to Israel’s right-wing Likud-led government in order to have the moratorium on settlement construction extended.


The Senate’s Bipartisan Effort to Undermine Mideast Peace

Just as President Obama began to renew pressure on Israel to freeze the expansion of settlements in Palestinian territories, leading congressional Democrats joined in with Republicans to try to stop him.


New US Sanctions on Iran

Amid rising calls for preparing to strike Iran, the Obama administration imposed new unilateral sanctions on Iranian officials whom it accused of committing “sustained and severe violations of human rights.”


Zoellick Embraces “Multi-Polar World Economy”

The one-time backer of neocon campaigns pushing U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, World Bank head Zoellick now says the “new, fast-evolving multi-polar world economy” requires greater fiscal transparency from the Bank itself.


Syria’s Advantage in the Peace Process

As the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama struggles to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Syria is well positioned to benefit no matter the outcome.


US Hardline on Taliban Peace Talks

The Obama administration has reportedly taken its first steps toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan by exploring the possibility of talks with the Taliban.


Growing US Public Acceptance of Dwindling Global Role

A new survey reveals the American public is looking increasingly toward reducing Washington’s role in world affairs, especially in conflicts that do not directly concern the United States.


The Great Sharia Conspiracy

Recent efforts by right-wing groups and individuals to hype the purported threat to the United States posed by shariah law cap a summer of attacks on Islam in the U.S.


Rights Groups Leery of Surge in Wartime Contractors

Three years after Blackwater security guards gunned down unarmed civilians in Baghdad, not nearly enough has been done to improve oversight and accountability of private contractors abroad, says a new report.


Petraeus Spin on IED War Belied by Soaring Casualties

General Petraeus’ recent claim that the security situation in Afghanistan is slowly improving is contradicted by Pentagon data, which reveals a sharp increase in the number of NATO troops killed by Taliban using improvised explosive devices.


Competing Rallies on 9/11 Anniversary

Competing rallies in New York City on the anniversary of 9/11 revealed a deep divide in how Americans interpret the events of 9/11 and view Islam.


Light At End of Tunnel Elusive, Despite Obama’s Efforts

The announced “end” of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq and the start of direct talks on Israeli-Palestinian peace notwithstanding, the United States remains deeply mired in Middle East conflicts.


Interview with Andrew Bacevich

Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations and history at Boston University, discusses his new book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War.


“McCarthyism” in the Middle East

Israeli civil rights groups and academics are harshly criticizing a campaign by right-wing politicians and activists to clamp down on what they call an “anti-Zionist tilt” at universities.


AFGHANISTAN: Ouster of Contractors Throws U.S. Strategy in Doubt

If private security contractors are phased out in Afghanistan, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has demanded, it could have a profound impact on U.S. military strategy there.


The End of the Iraq Combat Mission?

While White House is trying to reassure its anti-war base that the U.S. military role in Iraq is coming to an end, there are indications that it intends to renegotiate its agreement with Baghdad to keep combat troops there into 2011.


Déjà Vu All Over Again?

If the United States succeeds in getting Palestinian President Abbas to agree to direct peace talks, will Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reciprocate?


Empty Threats?

The effort by some Israeli officials to threaten a unilateral strike against Iran if the United States doesn’t act first, as reported in Jeff Goldberg’s new Atlantic article, may be little more than bluster.


U.S. Military Aid to Lebanon Suspended

The suspension of U.S. military aid to Lebanon after that country’s recent border skirmish with Israel could lead to increased Iranian influence in Beirut.


Eyes on the Skies Over Bushehr Nuclear Reactor

News that Iran’s Bushehr’s nuclear reactor is about to go “live” appears to be fueling speculation in the region of an imminent military attack by Israel or the United States.


Iran Benefits from Arab Disillusionment with Obama

While President Obama’s reputation in the Arab world is in free fall, Iran’s appears to be improving.


War in Eastasia

By holding military exercises on China’s doorstep—and within range of Norht Korea—the United States is playing with fire.


Pakistan Poll Finds Widespread Disillusionment

New polling in Pakistan reveals a public that holds unfavorable views of the United States as well as of al Qaeda and the Taliban, and wants to see an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.


Israel Playing With a Fire It Expects the U.S. to Put Out

A recent resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives expressing support for a decision by Israel to attack Iran coincided with the start of a new lobbying campaign aimed at drawing the U.S. into war.


Despite Iraq Withdrawal, Greater Mideast Not Looking Good

While President Obama spins the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq as a sign of success of his policies in the region, the latest news from the Greater Middle East is far less encouraging.


Despite Cuts, Nukes Still Integral to U.S. Security Strategy

Some analysts think that new U.S. plans to improve its nuclear weapons complex are likely to hinder international efforts to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction.


Right Web on Antiwar Radio

The director of IPS Right Web discusses the Emergency Committee for Israel and the neoconservatives with Antiwar.com Radio.


Leaked Reports Make Afghan War Policy More Vulnerable

Although the 92,000 reports on the war in Afghanistan made public by the WikiLeaks offer no major revelations, they increase the political pressure on a war policy that has already suffered a precipitous loss of credibility.


Obama’s Afghanistan Strategy Increasingly Under Siege

The release of tens of thousands of classified documents detailing the war in Afghanistan comes amid a growing crisis of confidence in the nearly nine-year-old war.


“Spy” Told CIA Iran Has No Nuclear Bomb Program

Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, who recently “redefected” to Iran after claiming to have been abducted by the United States, allegedly told the CIA that Tehran does not have an active nuclear weapons program.


Israel’s Next War Could Be Lebanon: Analyst

One high-profile U.S. observer thinks Israel might initiate hostilities with Hezbollah as a possible catalyst to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.


At War with Iran by Early 2011?

A familiar clutch of Iraq war hawks appear to be preparing the ground for a major new campaign to rally public opinion behind military action against Iran.


CNN’s Mideast problem

CNN’s firing last week of its Mideast editor because of a Twitter post in which she expressed sadness over the death of a Lebanese cleric has set off a firestorm of debate about CNN’s fairness in reporting on the region.


Whither Netanyahu-Obama?

Last week’s diplomatic dance between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama did little more than to give the Israeli government more time to avoid making the hard decisions needed to achieve peace with the Palestinians.


Obama and Netanyahu—Friends Again?

Described as a “meaningless PR exercise” by one prominent observer, this week’s meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appears to have been little more than an opportunity for the two leaders to reassure their domestic audiences.


IAEA Official Pushed False Iran Intel

Blurb A recently removed high-level IAEA official was notorious for using suspect intelligence to promote the view that Iran has been pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program.


U.S. Congress Approves Strong Unilateral Sanctions on Iran

Both houses of Congress approved a sweeping unilateral sanctions package again Iran this week that raises to a new level Washington’s confrontation with Tehran.


Switch to Petraeus Betrays Afghan Policy Crisis

Ostensibly a result of the indiscreet comments by General McChrystal and his aides, the switch from McChrystal to General Petraeus was clearly the result of White House unhappiness with McChrystal’s handling of the Afghan war.


Right-Wing Israel Lobby Riding High in Election Run-Up

Despite increasing international condemnation of the actions of Israel’s Likud-led government, the right-wing leadership of the “Israel Lobby” in Washington is riding a wave of recent victories.


Obama Still Globally Popular, But Doubts Grow in Muslim World

Although President Obama’s popularity around the globe remains high, a recent poll shows considerable disillusionment with the direction of his foreign policies in the Middle East.


OBAMA: Whither Foreign Policy Reform?

A year and a half into the presidency of Barack Obama, any hopes that he would usher in a dramatic rethinking of U.S. foreign policy have been more or less definitively dashed.


Draft U.N. Treaty Targets Security Firms in War Zones

A UN working group is leading efforts to draft a new global treaty aimed at reining in human rights abuses committed by private security firms employed din war zones.


Neo-Conservatives Lead Charge against Turkey

A familiar clutch of neo-conservative hawks is going on the offensive against what they see as the Gaza flotilla’s chief defender, Turkey.


Bad News from Afghanistan

Senior military officials are conceding privately that their much-touted counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan is not working out as planned despite the “surge” of some 20,000 additional U.S. troops over the past six months.


AFGHANISTAN: Shades of Iraq in 2006?

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, confronts the spectre of a collapse of U.S. political support for the war in Afghanistan in coming months comparable to the one that occurred in the Iraq War in late 2006.


Doubts Grow Over Israel’s Value as U.S. Ally

Doubts about Israel’s value to the United States have recently been expressed by a diverse group of people, including the head of Israel’s foreign-intelligence agency, the Mossad, and leading centrist analysts in Washington.


The Trillion-Dollar Question

The Obama administration wants to cut several outdated defense items not so that it can balance the budget or expand healthcare, but in order to boost the war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq.


“Israel Lobby” Mobilizes, Threatens

The U.S. “Israel Lobby” has pulled out all the stops in its efforts to defend Israel’s attack on the Palestine aid flotilla.


Obama Seeks to Quiet Outrage over Gaza Flotilla Killings

While calling the blockade against Gaza “unsustainable and unacceptable,” the Obama administration has steadfastly avoided assigning blame for the deadly Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla.


ISREAL: Spinning the Attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla

The Israeli government has launched a full-throttle defense of its attack on the Gaza aid flotilla as outrage over the attack grows around the world.


U.S. Defence Spending Far Outpaces Rest of the World

The United States continues to lead the world in defence spending, according to a new report by the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a U.S.-based non-partisan research organization.


Obama Security Strategy Stresses Economy, Multilateralism

In his first National Security Strategy, President Obama pledged to maintain the U.S.’s “military superiority” while stressing that the persistence of the nation’s global power will depend more on the health of its domestic economy and international cooperation.


IRAN: Fuel Swap Deal Shakes Sanctions Push

Despite continued U.S. efforts to dismiss the Iran nuclear deal with Turkey and Brazil, there are signs that the deal is spurring diplomatic pressure from UN Security Council members, particularly Russia and China.


IRAN: U.S. Covert Ops versus Sanctions?

At the same time that it is working with the Senate to gain flexibility in pushing Iran sanctions, the Obama administration seems to be upping the potential for covert operations in the region.


U.S. Militarization in Latin America

A recent report by several Washington-based policy groups reveals growing disenchantment with the Obama administration’s lack of effort to curb U.S. militarization in Latin America.


Bill for Afghan War Could Run into the Trillions

Some observers in Washington are raising concerns that the Afghan War may be unwinnable and that the money being spent on military operations in there could be better spent.


IRAN: Brazil-Turkey Deal Puts New UN Sanctions in Doubt

Despite U.S. and EU skepticism, many independent experts agree that the Iran’s nuclear agreement with Turkey and Brazil will throw a wrench into efforts to gain approval by the Security Council for a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran in the coming weeks.


New Solution for the Old City?

As the anniversary of the “reunification” of Jerusalem is observed this week, marking Israel’s annexation of the eastern portion of the city, a new initiative has been announced in Washington that calls for a sustainable and unified solution for governing the “Old City.”


Pentagon Faces Battle in Effort to Reverse Military Contracting

Pentagon chief Robert Gates recent call for a cutback of $15 billion in military spending on contractors and government bureaucracy was an acknowledgment that the financial costs of U.S. military expansion since 9/11 are not sustainable.


IRAN: U.S. Sanctions versus U.N. Sanctions

Efforts by Congress to pass sanctions against Iran could jeopardize efforts by the Obama administration to organise multilateral sanctions through the U.N. or negotiate a diplomatic solution with Tehran.


Failed Bomb Plot Tests US-Pakistan Ties

The failed Times Square bombing attempt has highlighted the challenges in pressuring Pakistan on anti-terror efforts.


The Israeli Exception

North Korea and Israel have a lot in common, but partly as a result of U.S. policy towards them, one country is an official rogue while the other only plays one on Arab TV.


Whither the Proximity Talks?

U.S.-backed proximity talks between the Israelis and Palestinians are scheduled to begin just as a growing alignment of international sympathy for the Palestinian perspective of the conflict has started to emerge.


Iran Sanctions Push

As mid-term elections approach, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are eager to demonstrate their strong support for Israel, in part by arguing for “crippling” sanctions against Tehran.


To Peace Plan or Not to Peace Plan?

Reports earlier this month that President Barack Obama may present a comprehensive U.S. peace plan for resolving the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict have spurred a growing public debate over its wisdom and timing.


Alleged Weapons Transfer Threatens U.S. Mideast Efforts

Recent Israeli allegations that Syria is providing Hezbollah with Scud missiles is jeopardizing U.S. efforts to woo Damascus away from its alliance with Iran.


Israel and the U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran

Although the Obama administration has carefully avoided drawing a connection between Israel and its decision to reserve the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran, the new Nuclear Posture Review broadens the range of contingencies in which nuclear weapons might play a role so as to include an Iranian military response to an Israeli attack.


Obama Mideast Peace Plan in the Works?

The Obama administration appears to be considering launching a major push later this year to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, much to the displeasure of the Likudniks and neocons.


Congress Complicates Obama’s Sanctions Strategy for Iran

The Obama administration’s efforts to get UN approval for new international sanctions against Iran could be hampered by the “Israel Lobby,” which intends to push Congress to impose unilateral measures.


U.S. Poll Reveals Divide on Middle East

Eighty-one percent of U.S. citizens say the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has hurt their country’s interests, according to a new poll, although a sharp partisan divide increasingly frames the issue.


New U.S.-Russia Nuclear Deal

The new U.S.-Russia nuclear agreement, hailed as one of President Obama’s most significant foreign policy accomplishments, will continue the gradual reduction of the two countries’ nuclear stockpiles.


Unraveling the Knottiest Issues in Stalled Peace Talks

A new study published by an institute led by former Republican official James Baker argues that the Obama administration needs to be more aggressive in pushing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.


U.S. Senate Passes New Iran Sanctions

The Senate’s swift passage of new Iran sanctions reveals an administration losing control of even its own party in foreign policy dealings.


Iran Hawks Resurgent

As the Senate prepares to consider new Iran sanctions in coming weeks, hawks are pressuring the administration to pursue “regime change” in Tehran.


Iran Uses Fear of Covert Nuclear Sites to Deter Attack

Iran’s “hidden” nuclear sites are really meant to dissuade U.S. and Israeli military planners from trying to attack the country’s nuclear program, claims analyst.


Push for Reconciliation in Run-up to Afghan Meet

On the eve of a major conference on Afghanistan, U.S. and British officials are hinting that they are open to a political settlement with elements of the Taliban.


Public Most Unilateralist in 40 Years, Poll Finds

A recent poll suggests that the U.S. public has become more inward-looking and unilateralist than at any time since the early stages of the Vietnam War.


Obama’s Mixed Message on Afghanistan

Despite President Obama’s decision to surge troops in Afghanistan, he recently rejected the critical link needed to justify such a deployment—the allegedly indissoluble link between the Taliban insurgency and al Qaeda.


Obama Embraces Escalation in Afghanistan

In a highly anticipated speech, President Barack Obama announced the dispatch of 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan over the next seven months, while promising to begin withdrawing them within a year.


A New Counterinsurgency Front?

A think tank close to the Obama administration is urging Washington to ramp up U.S. aid and involvement in strife-torn Yemen…


Obama’s Mideast Mess

President Obama’s decision on a host of problems spanning the Greater Middle East could well determine his foreign policy legacy.


Realities Collide at Halifax “War Conference”

The inaugural Halifax International Security Forum, cosponsored by the Canadian government and the German Marshall Fund, highlighted Canada’s more militant role with NATO.


Right Seizes on Ft. Hood Killings as “Islamic Terror”

A chorus of hawks is using the killings at Ft. Hood to revive Islamophobic rhetoric. 


Allies Losing Hope for Major Changes in U.S. Foreign Policy

Obama appears to be dashing hopes both in the Arab world and in Latin America that he can bring major changes in U.S. policy toward their respective regions.


A Thaw in U.S.-Syrian Relations?

Since the Obama administration announced several months ago that it would appoint an ambassador to Syria, efforts to strengthen diplomatic relations between the countries have stalled.


Setbacks in U.S. Outreach to Muslim World

Recent setbacks from Palestine to Pakistan threaten to reverse whatever gains President Obama has made in restoring Washington’s badly battered image and influence among Muslims.


Sen. Kerry Warns Against Afghan Build-Up

An influential Democratic senator has warned against deploying tens of thousands more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.


A “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” Group Counters the Right

J Street, the relatively new “pro-Israel, pro-Peace” advocacy group, exceeded expectations for its inaugural conference here in Washington with over 1,500 participants attending the four-day event.


“Pro-Israel” Group’s Money Trail Veers Hard Right

StandWithUs, a rightist-leaning “pro-Israel” U.S. advocacy group determined to prove that moderate groups like J Street are working to undermine Israeli security, receives funding from donors accused of supporting anti-Muslim propaganda.


Pro-War Officials Play Up Taliban-al Qaeda Ties

Experts claim that new intel reports alleging closer ties between al Qaeda and the Taliban, which have been used to promote a full-fledged U.S. counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan, are misleading.


Foreign Policy Hawks Launch New Campaign Against Obama

Days after Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel, two of Washington’s prominent hawks launched a new campaign aimed at depicting the president as weak and pushing militarist foreign policies.


U.S. Public Sceptical and Hawkish on Iran

Despite strong support for diplomatic engagement with Iran, most U.S. citizens believe such efforts will ultimately fail.


Obama Weighs Options as Afghan War Enters Ninth Year

On the eighth anniversary of the launch of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, President Obama spent much of his time deliberating with top advisers on what is likely to be one of the most momentous decisions of his tenure: the future of U.S. involvement in that war.


More AID for Pakistan

While much of the foreign policy debate has focused on Afghanistan and Iran recently, official Washington has been moving to tighten ties with a key neighbor of both countries, Pakistan.


Breakthrough on Iran?

Observers are cautiously optimistic that last week’s talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany could lay the basis for a long-sought diplomatic breakthrough.


U.S. Story on Iran Nuke Facility Doesn’t Add Up

Did the United States really catch Iran trying to conceal its “secret” nuclear facility?


New U.S. Bomb Production?

The U.S. Energy Department is pushing to expand nuclear weapons programs at the same time that President Obama is seeking to reduce the number of such weapons in the world.


Iran: New Nuke Charges Raise Stakes in Upcoming Talks

Charges that Iran has a secret underground uranium enrichment plant will bolster calls by Israel and U.S. right-wing hawks to impose “crippling sanctions” against Tehran, even as world leaders are set to formally engage the country in talks.


Has Netanyahu Out-Manoeuvred Obama or Vice Versa?

President Obama’s decision to shelve his long-held demand for a freeze on Israeli settlements, announced during trilateral talks this week with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, may prove a Pyrrhic victory for Israeli’s Likud-led government.


Obama Scraps Missile Defense in Czech Republic, Poland

President Obama’s decision to scrap long-range-missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic seems aimed at enlisting Russian support in dealing with Iran.


Can Final Peace Deal Overcome Settlements Roadblock?

As a new round of U.N.-sponsored Israeli-Arab peace negotiations fast approaches, it remains unclear how much and what kind of pressure the Obama administration is willing to exert on Israel.


Prominent Conservative Calls for Afghanistan Pullout

Conservative pundit George Will’s defection on the war in Afghanistan has outraged right-wing hawks and highlighted the growing public discontent with that conflict.


Afghan Elections Reveal Growing Doubts About War

A growing number of experts believe that regardless of its eventual outcome, the recent Afghan election will do little to advance the U.S. war effort against the Taliban.


Republicans Attack Obama’s Israel-Palestine Policies

The close alignment of some Republican Party stalwarts with Israel’s rightwing government signals a significant political shift on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Under Pressure from Hawks, Obama Tacks to the Right

Apparently in response mounting pressure from hawks, the Obama administration is moving toward a harder line on Iran.


Holbrooke Heralds U.S.-Afghan Pre-Election Engagement

Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke told an audience at the Center for American Progress that when it comes to U.S. civilian efforts in Afghanistan, concepts of victory and defeat are irrelevant.


J Street’s Muslim Funding for Peace

Right-wing commentators are furiously working to discredit the liberal J Street organization, which lobbies for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine, because a tiny percentage of its donors have Arab or Muslim names.


Iraqi Raid of Iranian Dissident Enclave May Signal Tilt Toward Iran

A neocon think tank blames President Obama for an Iraqi raid on an enclave of Iranian dissidents that killed several members of a cultish opposition group.


Violent Afghan Police Return to Helmand Province, Bolstered by U.S. & UK Troops

U.S. and UK forces in Afghanistan’s Helmand province are working to bring back the provincial police. But there is a big problem: Not only are the police linked with a local warlord, they’ve committed horrific abuses.


Has Obama Been Neglecting Israel?

Many Israelis believe President Obama has been neglecting Israel. Will this perception harm his ability to broker a final Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement?


Report Urges Continued U.S. Diplomatic Push

A new report from veteran Middle East hands urges the Obama administration to proceed cautiously with Iran, but move quickly to broker formal talks between Israel and Palestine.


Behind Detainee Release, a U.S.-Iraqi Conflict on Iran

The recent release of five Iranians held by the U.S. military in Iraq highlights growing differences between Washington and Baghdad over Iranian policy in Iraq.


Is Obama Slouching Toward War With Iran?

Although the Obama administration clearly believes an Israeli attack on Iran would be disastrous, recent events seem to point to a concerted campaign to make the Iranians think an attack is coming, a strategy that could have severe unintended consequences.


U.S. Uses False Taliban Aid Charge to Pressure Iran

In an effort to put pressure on Iran, the Obama administration has revived the false Bush administration claim that Tehran is providing military training and aid to the Taliban.


Iraq: Questions Remain About the U.S. Role

The pivotal role that Vice President Biden is likely to play in U.S.-Iraqi affairs has raised fears that partition may be back on the agenda.


Honduras: Dictatorships and Double Standards Revisited

Neoconservatives’ support for the recent military coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is a reminder of their history as apologists for dictatorial regimes in Latin America.


Media Focus on Anti-Regime Exiles Plays Into Amhadinejad’s Hands

Western’s media’s recent focus on pro-regime change Iranian exile groups has given the authorities in Tehran a new way to discredit the opposition movement.


“Obama Effect” Versus “Freedom Agenda”

Beltway pundits and partisans are debating which U.S. president deserves more credit for helping pave the way for the Iranian opposition movement—Bush or Obama.


Electoral Chaos Energizes Neoconservative Hawks

As President Obama navigates the treacherous currents of Iran’s post-election political crisis, he faces a heated attack from right-wing hawks, who are pressing him to speak out more forcefully in support of protesters and abandon engagement with Tehran.


McChrystal’s High-Tech Spin on Afghan Civilian Deaths

Rather than reining in the special ops units mainly responsible for civilian casualties, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan apparently plans to curb “collateral damage” through enhanced high-tech battlefield surveillance.


Will “Changed” Iran Complicate U.S. Engagement?

The Obama administration remains quiet on how Iran’s post-election crisis will affect U.S. plans to engage the Islamic Republic.


Cautious U.S. Response to Iran Election Crisis

As President Barack Obama takes a wait-and-see approach to the violent aftermath of Iran’s contested election, U.S. neoconservatives are pushing the administration to demonstrate support for the protestors in Tehran.


Palestinian Leaders Critical of Netanyahu’s Speech

Despite receiving some support from the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for a qualified Palestinian state was widely unpopular with Palestinian leaders, spurring one prominent figure to call for the annulment of the Arab Peace Initiative.


Obama’s Paradigm Shift in U.S. – Mideast Relations

President Obama’s Cairo speech represented a significant shift away from the ideological framework that shaped the Bush administration’s policy towards the Middle East, but there’s a long way to go before the rhetoric becomes policy.


Obama Appeals to Muslim World for “New Beginning”

In his speech in Cairo, President Barack Obama extended a hand to the world’s 1.5 bil lion Muslims, and addressed nearly all of the issues that divide the United States and the Islamic world.


Hawks Push “Jordanian Option” for Palestine

As President Obama pushes Israel toward a two-state solution, right-wing hawks are pressing the U.S. administration to adopt the “three-state solution,” under which Jordan would take over the West Bank and Egypt would control Gaza.


Now the Hard Part: Implementing “Af-Pak”

Now that his administration has completed its review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Obama gets to the hard part: how to prevent the Talibanization of both countries.


Iran’s Place in the Mideast Peace Puzzle

Divergent Israeli and U.S. views on the place of Iran and the Palestinian situation within the larger question of regional peace and stability reveal much about the underlying challenges facing Mideast peacemakers.


Drive for Sanctions Likely in Wake of North Korean Test

The reaction by the Obama administration to North Korea’s nuclear test will send a message about how the new president intends to confront foreign policy crises.


Bigger, Badder Jihad Plot Peddled in New Film

A new film from a little-known U.S. organization with foreign right-wing ties claims that radical jihadists are preparing for an eventual Islamic takeover of the United States.


Despite Smiles, Obama and Netanyahu Seem Far Apart

Despite recent face-to-face talks, it seems clear that President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu view Iran and the Israel-Palestine peace process from divergent angles…


Af-Pak: McChrystal Choice Suggests Special Ops Strikes to Continue

While the Obama administration says it wants its new commander in Afghanistan to carry out politically sensitive counterinsurgency tactics, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal has no experience in nonmilitary tactics, and has been challenged over detainee abuses and aggressive raids against civilians.


AIPAC Conference Pushes for Sanctions on Iran

Last week’s annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee provided a stark reminder that although the lobby has come under increasing fire in recent years, it remains a force to be reckoned with.


As Obama Engages, Hawks Soften Rhetoric

Foreign policy hawks speaking at a recent American Enterprise Institute conference revealed a softening in their rhetoric toward Iran and expressed a willingness to engage the country.


Neocon Ideologues Launch New Foreign Policy Group

The newly founded Foreign Policy Initiative, led by the same neocon writers who set up the Project for the New American Century, supports a “surge” in Afghanistan and stresses “threats” from countries like Russia and China.


Neocons and Liberal Hawks Converge on Counterinsurgency

As the United States boosts its forces in Afghanistan, hawks in both Republican and Democratic circles are championing small wars theory and counterinsurgency doctrine as guides for the U.S. military.


Tehran Rebuffs U.S. Overtures

Iran’s dismissive response to U.S. attempts at engagement will likely isolate it even further, much to the detriment of Middle East stability.


Some Strategists Cast Doubt on Afghan War Rationale

Some analysts argue that the Obama administration’s battle against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is misplaced and will spur the group to become further entrenched in Pakistan.


From "Axis of Evil" to "Happy New Year"

President Obama issued well wishes to Iran on that country’s New Years celebration last Friday, striking a dramatically different tone to that adopted by his predecessor.


Bipartisan Experts Urge "Partnership" with Russia

A new report makes a series of recommendations to the new administration for finding common ground with Russia, after the U.S.-Russia relationship reached a new post-Cold War low last summer.


Military Dominance in Mideast a Costly Myth?

The United States might not be the dominant power in the Middle East that the Obama administration seems to presume, which could have far reaching consequences on its actions in the region


Islamist Governments Not the Enemy, Say Mideast Experts

U.S. policy must end its misguided fear of Islamist parties and concentrate on human rights, experts assert in open letter to Obama.


Vetting Nominees, Hampering Policy?

Will the lengthy and intrusive vetting process for nominees hamper the Obama’s administration ability to confront a number of foreign policy issues?


Freeman Withdrawal Marks Victory for Conservative “Israel Lobby”

A vitriolic battle waged by Republican lawmakers and Israel-centric hardliners spurred Charles “Chas” Freeman to withdraw from consideration to chair the National Intelligence Council


"Resist and Deter" Iran

A recent report by a hawkish U.S. think tank urges the administration to exert increasing pressure on Tehran to abandon its enrichment program and be prepared to launch military strikes.


Dutch Foe of Islam Goes to Washington

Dutch MP Geert Wilders tours the United States, soliciting conservatives for financial and ideological support.


U.S.-Israeli Relations: Storm Clouds Ahead?

A likely Likud-led coalition government in Israel will likely find itself at loggerheads with an Obama administration intent on talking to Iran and stabilizing southwest Asia.


Signs of a U.S.-Syria Thaw?

Planned U.S. congressional delegations to Syria underscore Obama’s desire to restore diplomatic relations with Damascus.


Generals Seek to Reverse Obama Withdrawal Decision

President Obama’s decision to stick to his campaign pledge regarding troop withdrawal from Iraq is facing strong opposition within the military.


More Troops, More Worries, Less Consensus on Afghanistan

Critics fear that Obama’s potential “surge” in Afghanistan may incite, rather than resolve, violence and resentment from Al Qaeda.


Hawks Urge Boosting Military Spending

The Pentagon and the arms industry are hoping for substantial increases in military spending despite a worsening financial crisis and already record level military spending.


Obama’s Quick Start Raises Hopes

Within days of his inauguration, Obama had already begun to take substantive steps toward jumpstarting Arab-Israeli peace process.


Israeli Settlements Expanding

The arrival in Israel of There could be potential friction as U.S. peace envoy and longtime critic of settlement construction George Mitchell, a long time critic of Israeli settlements, arrives in Israel. His visit coincides with a newly released study detailing Israeli settlement expansion.


Bush Plan Eliminated Obstacle to Gaza Assault

Bush administration efforts to undermine Hamas appear to have paved the way for the recent Israeli assault on Gaza.


Bush Foreign Policy Legacy Widely Seen as Disastrous

Few historians would apparently disagree with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal’s comment that the Bush administration has left you [the United States] a disgusting legacy.


Israeli Attack Seen as Complicating Obama’s Plans

The president-elect’s stated goal of improving the Israeli-Palestinian situation has been complicated before he even starts his job.


Regional Players Key to Salvaging Peace Process

Some experts think the Obama administration may be the last chance the Middle East has for achieving a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


Neocons Campaign to Preempt Iran Talks

With the presidential transition running full-steam ahead, hardliners are busy lining up their arguments for why talks with Iran will fail.


Pundits Debate the Inevitability of a Nuclear Iran

(Inter Press Service) At the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations meeting in late October, it wasn’t U.S. relations with an Arab country that many were talking about….


Obama Pressured to Back Off Iraq Withdrawal

(Inter Press Service) The promotion of Robert M. Gates as President-Elect Barack Obama’s secretary of defense appears to be the key element in a broad campaign by military…


Whither Peace in the Middle East

(Inter Press Service) Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has been elected U.S. president at a time when the number of violent militants in and around Iraq has risen dramatically since…


Obama Advisor Has Ties to Neocons

(Inter Press Service) With the 2008 presidential campaign at its end, pundits have begun to discuss in earnest what expected winner Barack Obama’s administration might…


Analysts Question Syria Raid

(Inter Press Service) A cross-border raid into Syria by U.S. forces in Iraq, and the subsequent stonewalling by U.S. officials unwilling to divulge details, has led to rampant …


Afghanistan: The Enemy of the Enemy

(Inter Press Service) Increasingly frustrated by the "downward spiral" that the U.S. intelligence community sees in Afghanistan, the Pentagon appears to be moving…


Pakistan: "Greatest Single Challenge" to Next President

(Inter Press Service) Calling Pakistan the "greatest single challenge" to the next U.S. administration, a bipartisan group of South Asia experts recommends cutting…


Brief Talks with Syria Spur Speculation

(Inter Press Service) A series of meetings between U.S. and Syrian diplomats—including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterpart, Foreign Minister Walid…


Pushing Islamophobia

(Inter Press Service) A group of hardline U.S. neoconservatives and former Israeli diplomats, among others, are behind the mass distribution of Obsession, a controversial DVD…


EU Takes the Diplomatic Lead on Georgia

(Inter Press Service) The Russia-Georgia peace deal indicates that the European Union (EU) is acting as an independent power and plans to maintain dialogue with Moscow in spite…


The Most Secretive Government Ever?

(Inter Press Service) The administration of President George W. Bush continues to expand government secrecy across a broad array of agencies and actions—and at greatly…


Blowback from the “War on Terror” in Somalia

(Inter Press Service) U.S. counterterrorism policies and support for the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia have helped create an increasingly…


Iran Could Benefit from Georgia Crisis

(Inter Press Service) Iran could emerge as a big winner, at least in the short term, from the rapidly escalating tensions between the United States and Russia over Moscow’s…


An End to Pax Americana?

(Inter Press Service) Whatever hopes the George W. Bush administration may have had for using its post-9/11 “war on terror” to impose a new Pax Americana on…


“Ally” Musharraf Facilitated Taliban

(Inter Press Service) Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s resignation brings to an end an extraordinarily close relationship between Musharraf and the George W. Bush…


Legal Battle Continues for Ex-Detainee

(Inter Press Service) After suffering a series of stinging defeats of its detention policies in four years of Supreme Court decisions, the George W. Bush administration may be…


U.S. Debates Russia’s Ambitions

(Inter Press Service) Just days after the outbreak of war between Russia and Georgia, the debate in Washington over how to view the crisis historically has become nearly as…


Success of Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Program Doubtful

(Inter Press Service) A military attack on Iran’s major nuclear facilities by the United States or Israel would likely result only in a delay—and not a particularly…


Bush, U.S. Military Pressure Iraqis on Withdrawal

(Inter Press Service) Instead of moving toward accommodating the demand of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a timetable for U.S. military withdrawal, the George W. Bush…


Iran in the Spotlight at Christian Zionist Confab

(Inter Press Service) The controversial Christian Zionist pastor John Hagee and thousands of supporters filled a convention center in downtown Washington last week for the…


Scowcroft, Brzezinski Urge Bush to Drop Iran Preconditions

(Inter Press Service) Two of Washington’s most prominent foreign policy greybeards praised Saturday’s direct participation in multinational talks with Iran by a senior…


The Shadow of the U.S. Footprint

(Inter Press Service) It was neoconservative pundit Charles Krauthammer who, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse, inaugurated Washington’s unipolar moment.. …


Unrest Resurfaces in Fallujah

(Inter Press Service) Security has collapsed again in Fallujah, Iraq, despite U.S. military claims. Local militias supported by U.S. forces claim to have "cleansed"…


Iran: Keeping Everyone Guessing

(Inter Press Service) Conciliatory noises from Tehran over the nuclear issue have left Washington and Brussels baffled and unconvinced of Iran’s intentions. Having grown…


P5+1 Proposal May Interest Tehran

(Inter Press Service) A senior Iranian official reportedly told members of the Iranian parliament Monday that Iran has agreed to freeze its enrichment program for six weeks and…


Poll Backs Greater U.N. Role in Mideast Peace

(Inter Press Service) A majority of global publics say their governments should "not take either side" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead supporting a call…


Oil Prices and Attacking Iran

(Inter Press Service) If U.S. President George W. Bush wants to boost Republican chances of holding on to the White House and keeping Democratic gains in Congress to a minimum…


A Temporary Truce?

The rockets being fired into Israel from Gaza have stopped for now. So have the Israeli raids into the coastal strip. But the majority of Israelis are deeply skeptical that…


"Neglecting Democracy Is More Dangerous Than Nuclear Weapons" Interview with Shirin Ebadi

While the United States and Britain are talking about tougher sanctions on Iran, including sanctions on its gas and oil industry—Tehran’s major source of revenue…


Two-State Solution Too Far Away

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was more explicit than usual last Sunday, asserting that Israel’s settlement activity in the occupied West Bank was illegal and…


A League of What?

A foreign policy idea tabled by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has received support from a wide variety of camps, including supporters of both remaining presidential candidates. But…


“We Will Attack It”

As Israel’s transportation minister, one might have expected that Shaul Mofaz would have given greater consideration to the impact his comments would have on the …


Pentagon Reined in Cheney’s Plans for Iran Strikes

(Inter Press Service) Pentagon officials firmly opposed a proposal by Vice President Dick Cheney last summer for airstrikes against Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)…


Convergence of Influence

(LobeLog.com) This week, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) holds its annual conference, and true to form, the list of speakers for this year’s…


Protesters Draw Attention to Guantanamo

(Inter Press Service) “My name is Ahmed Mohammed,” she told police after her arrest outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington in January. Last Thursday,…


Double Standard in Iraq

(Inter Press Service) If politics makes strange bedfellows, then the relationship between Iran, the United States, and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) is the strangest…


Future Perfect?

In separate speeches delivered an ocean apart, the two standard bearers of the Republican Party last Thursday offered rosy visions of a future designed to gladden the hearts…


Bush in the Middle East

(Inter Press Service) Hezbollah’s recent rout of U.S.-backed forces in Lebanon has cast a shadow over President George W. Bush’s tour of the Middle East this week….


No Help from Washington

(Inter Press Service) Amid regional fears of a summer war between Israel and Syria, the two countries may in fact be inching closer to a deal. Not even President George W….


Feith’s Unsurprising Revelations

(Inter Press Service) Three weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing Saddam…


Optimism on Iran

(Inter Press Service) By negotiating a Shiite truce, Tehran embarrassed Washington in early April and arguably proved itself to be a more potent stabilizer of southern Iraq…..


Olmert on Iran

(Inter Press Service) In the clearest indication yet that Israel now believes Iran’s nuclear aspirations can be curbed through diplomatic measures, Prime Minister Ehud…


Losing the Popularity Contest

(Inter Press Service) Despite renewed U.S. efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement this year, popular views of the United States in the Arab world have…


Rethinking Unconditional Commitment in Iraq

Despite a reduction in violence over the past 15 months, “the U.S. risks getting bogged down in Iraq for a long time to come, with serious consequences for its interests…


With Friends Like These

One of the Arab world’s most widely respected nongovernmental organizations is charging that at least 14 Middle East and North African governments are systematically…


Islam’s Positive Influence

The Fergana Valley in the heart of Central Asia has a reputation for instability, violent conflict, and Islamic fundamentalism. The three countries whose borders intersect in…


Teaching Jihad?

Iran’s post-revolutionary education system continues to teach children to discriminate against women and religious minorities, according to a report released…


When the Brass Doesn’t Want to Fight

Admiral William Fallon’s request last week to resign from his position as head of U.S. Central Command (Centcom) and to retire from the military was…


The Vanishing Laptop Scoop

U.S. foreign policy is becoming increasingly dominated by the Pentagon rather than the State Department, and Congress is doing virtually nothing about it,…


The Vanishing Laptop Scoop

The George W. Bush administration has long pushed the “laptop documents”—1,000 pages of technical documents supposedly from a stolen Iranian…


Report Shows New Neocon Angle on Iran

A new report published by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) purports to show the reach and scope of Iranian influence across the Middle East…


Pentagon Brass Fear Iraq Troop Strain

As the man responsible for the health and strength of the U.S. military, Pentagon chief Robert Gates is increasingly finding himself between the devil and the deep…


Islam “Expert” Axed

Neoconservative hawks recently suffered another loss in the Bush administration when Stephen Coughlin, a controversial government expert on jihad, lost his post…


Trapping the Next Administration in Iraq

As President George W. Bush seeks to deeply entrench U.S. military forces in Iraq, the Congress and foreign policy pundits are looking beyond his…


When Did He Know?

White House officials have now admitted that George W. Bush was told that the intelligence assessment on a covert Iranian nuclear…


Détente with Damascus?

When the George W. Bush administration asked Damascus to attend last month’s Annapolis conference, Imad Moustapha, the Syrian…


Whose Disinformation?

The reported White House resistance to the conclusion of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that Iran had abandoned a nuclear…


NIE Aftermath

A little over a week after a U.S. intelligence report concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, the…


The NIE Bombshell

Despite the White House spin that the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) supports its policy of increasing pressure on Iran, the…


Annapolis: Aimed at Iran?

It was initially billed as a "peace conference" to decisively address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But as President…


Not “What,” Just “Who”

What do the current Pakistani political crisis, Israel’s September air strike against Syria, and Iran’s continued pursuit of…


The Reality of the Raid

Until late October 2007, the accepted explanation about the September 6 Israeli airstrike in Syria, constructed in a series of press…


Attacking Annapolis

Despite near-universal skepticism about the prospects for launching a serious, new Middle East peace process at this week’s…


A New “Arc of Crisis”?

Just as the White House claims that it has finally turned the corner in what it defines as the "central front" in the war on…


Stifling Dissent

A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community…


Distant Diplomacy

L. Bruce Laingen was working as a senior U.S. Foreign Service officer in Tehran in 1979 when student protestors, caught up in the…


The Warpath to Regime Change

Vice President Dick Cheney and his neoconservative allies in the George W. Bush administration only began agitating for the use of…


Whose EFPs?

When the U.S. military command accused the Iranian Quds Force last January of providing the armor-piercing explosively formed…


Islamofascist What?

Right-wing pundit David Horowitz was in rare form during a tightly controlled "public speech" at the George Washington…


Forgetting the Carrot

Last Thursday, the heads of the U.S. State and Treasury Departments jointly announced new sanctions aimed at the further economic…


Bracing the Brass on Iran

The George W. Bush administration’s shift from the military option of a massive strategic attack against Iran to a surgical strike…


White House Sharpens Its Words

The vice president gives a hostile assessment of Iran and the president links World War III to a nuclear Iran, while the secretary of…


Hillary’s “Soft Power”

In her most comprehensive—if characteristically cautious—foreign policy pronouncement to date, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton…


Genocide Politics

The George W. Bush administration has gone on the offensive against a non-binding House resolution recognizing as "genocide"…


Misinterpreting the Militias

Despite the U.S. military command’s frequent assertions that the primary threat to U.S. forces in Iraq comes from Iranian…


Soft Partition Or Hard Politics?

With a strong majority of U.S. citizens favoring withdrawal from Iraq within a year and presidential elections set for 2008, Democrats…


Condoning Torture?

Senate Democrats plan to closely question Michael Mukasey, the nominee for the next U.S. attorney general, about his views on torture…


Ahmadinejad as Hitler

He called for more "research" into the unequivocal facts of the Holocaust, said Iranian women were among the freest in the…


Disappearing Diplomacy

Amid growing speculation about prospects for U.S. military action against Iran, neoconservatives and other hawks won a…


Few Hearts or Minds for Bush Strategy

The George W. Bush administration is badly losing the so-called "war of ideas" in the Middle East, suggested a group of…


“Escalation Dominance”

The George W. Bush administration recently concluded that the increase in rocket attacks on coalition targets by Shiite forces over…


Targeting Syria

Nearly three weeks have passed since Israeli warplanes conducted a mysterious raid against an as yet unidentified target in northeast…


Diminished Religious Freedom in Iraq

Despite the addition of 30,000 U.S. troops to enhance security in Iraq, the freedom of average Iraqis to practice religion…


Who Killed Abu Risha?

In what was at least a symbolic blow to President George W. Bush, a prominent Iraqi tribal sheikh and self-styled leader of the "Sunni…


Pushing the Surge

In anticipation of U.S. Gen. David Petraeus’ final report on Iraq, supporters of the troop surge have been busily trying to set…


Surge Expansion?

On the same day that Gen. David Petraeus delivered to Congress his much anticipated progress report on the U.S. military’s…


Iraq: Feuding over Benchmarks

As the U.S. Congress prepares for a critical September assessment of progress in Iraq, a draft of an upcoming report by Congress’s nonpartisan…


A Different Tack

Israeli officials warned the George W. Bush administration that an invasion of Iraq would be destabilizing to the region and urged the United States…


The So-Called War Critics

September 15, 2007 is the deadline for the George W. Bush administration to submit a report to Congress defending its Iraq "surge…


Iran: The Terrorist Tag

The White House’s decision last week to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization could deal a double blow to…


Iraq War: Teaming Up with Insurgents

In hailing what he has called an "almost breathtaking" turnaround in Anbar Province that has weakened al-Qaida as a triumph for his new…


Reexamining the Middle East

The last few years have produced an enormous trove of literature about conflict and violence in the Middle East, no doubt because there appears to be…


U.S. Arms Trade: Maximizing Profits in the Middle East

When the United States sells state-of-the-art weapons systems to Arab nations, it invariably provides even more lethal and sophisticated arms to its…


An Unwitting War Machine?

A shocking thing happens midway through Norman Solomon’s documentary film War Made Easy. . While analyzing the George W. Bush…


Base Politics

A bill that would ban permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last Wednesday. . But…


“This Is Our Munich”?

Last Thursday afternoon, in a tightly packed press room of the U.S. Capitol building, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi stood at the podium and smiled heartily…


Bombs Away?

At the end of June, a few members of Congress made a discreet move to limit U.S. exports of cluster bombs, which have been used around the world…


Sowing Division or Making Peace?

President George W. Bush’s major policy address on July 16, promoting a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, has been greeted with…


The Bush Breakdown

There may have been moments during their summit at his family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, when President George W. Bush looked with envy…


Whose Arms, Whose Agenda?

In a development that underlines the tensions between the anti-Iran agenda of the George W. Bush administration and the preoccupation of its military…


The Media War

As the George W. Bush administration struggles through its last two years in office, it appears that the agenda of neoconservative ideologues has…


Blowback, from Palestine to Pakistan

Four years after the emergence of the first signs of a serious insurgency in Iraq, President George W. Bush finds himself beset with major crises…


The Let’s-Bomb-Iran Crowd Mobilizes

Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s (I-CT) recent call for air-strikes against Iran appears to be the culmination of a two-week-long campaign by proponents…


The Al-Qaida Gambit?

Following revelations of a George W. Bush administration policy to hold Iran responsible for any al-Qaida attack on the United States that could be…


Blame It on the Management

Outgoing World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who announced his resignation in mid-May (which will go into effect June 30), may insist that his staff…


Heads in the Sand

Two major studies by the U.S. intelligence community—distributed to senior officials in every relevant agency two months before the U.S….


Creating "Proxy Armies"?

Newly proposed legislation would expand existing Pentagon security and military aid programs in Iraq and Afghanistan to "coalition…


Mugged by Reality?

With just over 18 months left in office, the administration of President George W. Bush appears once again to be moving in a more "realist"…


Resolving Israeli-Syrian Tensions

Israel should take advantage of the opportunity to renew peace negotiations with Syria while there is a real chance of success, or risk further…


Wolfowitz’s Quid Pro Quo?

Of the top five outside international appointments made by embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz during his nearly two-year tenure, three…


Elliott Abrams’ Repeat Performance

It has an all too familiar ring to it. A crisis area—in this case, the Middle East—finds itself in desperate need of a peace process…


The Bluster Offensive

When the George W. Bush administration launched a high-profile campaign in January and February accusing Iran of exporting armor-piercing bombs to…


Reading on the Right

Recent efforts to initiate dialogue with Iran and North Korea may give the impression that the Bush administration is gradually easing away from the…


Dueling for Leverage

As the dispute over Iran’s seizure of British sailors continues to twist and turn, what may have been an isolated incident at the outset is…


A Real Realist Takeover

It was just nine months ago that Newsweek spoke for the conventional wisdom at that moment when it pronounced "The End of Cowboy…


Leveraging the Surge

Two weeks ago, Pentagon officials allegedly discussed a strategy to escalate U.S. pressure on Iran with the intention of creating the impression that…


Rice Picks Promoter of Iraq War as Counselor

In a move that has surprised many foreign policy analysts, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has appointed a prominent neoconservative hawk and…


A “New Diplomatic Offensive”?

Two weeks after making major concessions for a nuclear accord with North Korea, the administration of President George W. Bush said last week it was…


A Tale of Two Interventions

For several weeks, Washington has been abuzz with rumors that President George W. Bush is preparing to attack nuclear and other sites in Iran this…


The Mideast Opinion Gap

U.S. and Israeli hopes of forging a Sunni Arab alliance to contain Iran and its regional allies may be misplaced, at least at the popular level,…


Haunting Mistakes in Iraq

The supreme irony of President George W. Bush’s campaign to blame Iran for the sectarian civil war in Iraq, as well as attacks on U.S. forces, is…


Grim Assessments

A long-awaited study by the U.S. intelligence community released last Friday concludes that there is little, if any, light at the end of the tunnel…


The Money Behind the “Surge”

While an in increasing number of Democratic and Republican legislators oppose the Bush administration’s plan to “surge” the number of…


Afghanistan: Upping the Ante

While most national and international observers focus their attention on plans by the Bush administration to increase the number of U.S. troops in…


Iraq: Who’s the Enemy?

Two incidents involving U.S. forces in the predominantly Shia southern Iraq over the past week appear to demonstrate the growing complexities and…


A Mideast Feast

The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) may have effectively closed up shop two years ago, and its key neoconservative allies in the…


Somalia: A Recipe for Regional War?

When former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticized the U.S. military invasion of Iraq as an “illegal” act, neoconservatives in the United…


Raising the Rhetoric on Iran

Even before Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Afghanistan this week and issued harsh words about Iranian activities in the Middle East,…


The Hawks’ Hawk

In putting together his long-awaited new strategy on Iraq, President George W. Bush relied heavily on the counsel of J.D. Crouch II, perhaps the most…


If Only Israel Had Won?

Neoconservative hawks inside and outside the administration of President George W. Bush had hoped that Israel would attack Syria during the conflict…


A Lose-Lose Situation with Iran

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been touring the Middle East with a clear message: To make peace in the Middle East, Iran must be isolated. ….


ISG Report Finds Few Friends

The highly touted and long-awaited final report of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group (ISG) appears headed toward an uncertain future, with hawks and…


Failing on Iran

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s months-long diplomatic effort to get five other powers to agree to a tough UN Security Council resolution…


Changing of the Guard

The abrupt replacement of Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld by former Central Intelligence Agency Director Robert Gates, combined with the Democratic…


The Damascus Dance

While U.S. President George W. Bush appeared last week to reject suggestions that Washington directly engage the government of Syrian President…


In Search of “Plan B”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has endured recent speculation about how long his tenure in office will last, but it may be U.S. President…


The Baker Solution?

For the many foreign policy experts who have reached an advanced state of despair over the ever-plunging image and influence of the United States…


Neocons: Regime Change or Bust

Encouraging Japan to build nuclear weapons, shipping food aid via submarines, and running secret sabotage operations inside North Korea’s borders…


North Korea—Beyond the Point of No Return?

In its initial reaction to North Korea’s apparent nuclear test, the Bush administration indicated it would seek the strongest possible sanctions…


Scrapping the Geneva Conventions

In enacting new legislation last week governing the treatment and trial of suspects in Washington’s “global war on terror,” Congress has…


Don’t Ignore the Experts

The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) recently retired top expert on radical Islamists has strongly denounced the conduct of U.S. President…


Gingrich on the Campaign Trail?

Nearly two years before the 2008 presidential election, Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, is trying…


Iran: No Guarantees

Before Iran gave its formal counteroffer on August 22 to ambassadors of the six countries trying to negotiate with Tehran on its nuclear enrichment…


An Intel Air Ball

On August 23, the Republican-chaired House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a report suggesting that Iran might acquire nuclear…


The Hezbollah Maneuver

[Editor’s Note: On August 14, 2006, the New Yorker posted on its website “Watching Lebanon” by Seymour Hersh, in which Hersh interviewed…


Crisis Point?

By the end of the 35-day Israel-Hezbollah conflict in southern Lebanon, the atmosphere in Washington had become stifling as political alarm bells…


Lieberman’s Loss: What It Means

Sen. Joe Lieberman’s August 8 defeat in Connecticut’s Democratic primary by a little-known anti-war candidate marks a major setback to…


The Syria Option

A notion is gradually taking hold among some U.S. hardliners that is bound to make the Bush administration acutely uncomfortable. The idea? That…


The Iranian Specter

There is a growing consensus among the U.S. foreign policy elite that the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict is the result of a broader Iranian offensive…


Neocon Redux: Blame Iran, Back Israel

Israel’s military offensives in Gaza and Lebanon have reenergized the neoconservatives, who see an opportunity to regain influence lost as a…


Bush’s Choice: Escalation or Restraint?

The sudden opening on July 12 by Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia of a second front in Israel’s ongoing campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza…


The Demogogue Neocons Love to Hate

“Let us state the obvious,” wrote Reuel Marc Gerecht, the resident Gulf specialist at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in…


Foreign Policy Aftermath of Katrina

It was Jim Hoagland, the Washington’s Post’s liberal hawk par excellence, who first pondered the possible foreign policy consequences…


Anti-Islamic Crusade Gets Organized

Daniel Pipes, the founder of the Middle East Forum and an anti-Islamist activist, is working to organize a new policy institute, which will be called the…


US right weaves tangled but effective web

WASHINGTON – While most of the world is still trying to come to terms with the neo-imperial ambitions of the post-September 11 Bush administration,…

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Featured Profiles

Although better known for his domestic platform promoting “limited” government, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has expressed strong sympathies for projecting U.S. military power abroad.


Michael Flynn–a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who fears Muslims, wants war with Iran, is regarded as “unhinged” by military colleagues, and likes to cozy up to Vladimir Putin–was selected to be National Security Advisor in the Trump White House.


Michael Ledeen, a “Freedom Scholar” at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has long been obsessed with getting the U.S. to force regime change in Tehran.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, is a militant organization that advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Donald Trump calls Mitt Romney a “choke artist.” Romney calls Trump a threat to “a safe and prosperous future.” But the two are reportedly discussing the possibility of making Romney secretary of state. While he is arguably a safer choice then John Bolton or Rudolf Giuliani, Romney nevertheless has supported aggressive U.S. overseas intervention and sought advice from “pro-Israel” hardliners who would like nothing more than to see the Iran nuclear agreement fail.


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is one the Senate’s more ardent supporters of militaristic U.S. foreign policies.


Frank Gaffney, director of the hardline neoconservative Center for Security Policy, is a longtime advocate of aggressive U.S. foreign policies, bloated military budgets, and confrontation with the Islamic world.


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From the Wires

General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of defense, is known first and foremost as an Iran hawk.


Donald Trump’s national security adviser has expressed contradictory opinions about the former Soviet Union, making it difficult to assess what policies the next White House administration may pursue in the region.


Trump: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job.”


Trump’s deputy national security advisor Kathleen McFarland has a history of making wildly conspiratorial claims about China leveraging its holdings of U.S. debt to demand the elimination of Fourth of July celebrations and casually joking about nuclear winter as a solution to global warming.


Thus far, signs indicate that Donald Trump will continue to ensure that the United States plays the dominant role in policing the world.


The Iran deal is beneficial to Israeli security. Without an Iranian nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have no incentive to obtain nuclear weapons, thus preventing a domino scenario. The deal also closed off the chapter of pre-emption strikes scenarios on Iran’s military targets and reduced the risks for a new and long regional war. All of this could be threatened by the Trump administration.


People are attaining positions of power under Trump not because of perspicacity and temperament but because they were not sufficiently outraged during the campaign to exile themselves from Trumpland.


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